South Africa’s 2010 FIFA World Cup CEO Danny Jordaan has succeeded in his long-running bid to return to a high-level position within the game by being elected as the new president of the South African Football Association (SAFA).
Saturday’s elections saw Jordaan secure an overwhelming majority victory over rival candidate Mandla ‘Shoes’ Mazibuko by securing 162 votes to his opponent’s 88. Jordaan, a former SAFA vice-president, takes over from Kirsten Nematandani who did not contest the race.
Jordaan’s tenure as CEO of the local organising committee for South Africa’s 2010 World Cup gained him substantial credit on the world stage, but this had not translated into influence in his home continent. He has previously failed with bids for the presidency of the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) and an attempt to secure one of Africa’s seats on FIFA’s executive committee, while in March he was snubbed in an attempt to gain a place on the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Jordaan sought the SAFA mandate on the promise to improve the national team’s overall performance, youth development, strengthening women football as well as strengthening the Association’s financial standing. Following his victory, Jordaan said that he believes South Africa does not play enough football as a nation, and that needs to change. “The challenge for all of us is the development and reconstruction of South African football,” he said, according to the KickOff.com website. “Many say we are a football nation but I say we are not. Germany is playing 80,000 junior matches over a weekend. Spain is playing 30,000. France is playing 40,000. If you find 3,000 matches in South Africa you’re doing well. So that’s the problem. We have to get the junior leagues going.”