/ 21 July 2010

Jordaan joins Fifa inspection team

Jordaan Joins Fifa Inspection Team

Former Soccer World Cup local organising committee (LOC) head Danny Jordaan has joined the Fifa World Cup inspection team, he said on Wednesday.

He accepted a commission from Fifa to join its inspection team to run the rule over prospective 2018 and 2022 World Cup venues in Australia, Japan, Russia, England, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Holland and the United States.

He leaves for Australia on Saturday and will be in and out of the country during the next couple of months while on Fifa business, he said in a telephone interview.

However, when asked if he had received an offer to join Fifa in a senior full-time capacity, Jordaan refused to comment.

Jordaan and 2010 LOC chairperson Irvin Khoza delivered what many critics said would be impossible: a successful World Cup finals — the first on African soil.

Jordaan sounded elated and said: “I told you way back in 2004 (when SA won the bid to host the global event) that only God could stop us hosting the best World Cup ever. I am delighted with the smooth way the tournament was run both on and off the field. It was a tremendous advert for South Africa and Africa and shows that this continent can succeed in hosting the biggest sporting event in history.

“This was a stunning achievement and one we as a nation can be rightly proud of.”

Jordaan was also mum on his future in South Africa soccer administration. He was widely expected to return as CEO of the
South African Football Association (Safa) after the World Cup finals.

Jordaan was seconded to the 2010 LOC when he and Khoza successfully won the bid to host the biggest sporting event ever held in South Africa in 2004.

But Jordaan said: “I have not made any firm decision on my future. I am delighted to be part of Fifa’s inspection team looking over prospective World Cup candidates for 2018 and 2020.”

Bitter contest
Rivals Jordaan and Khoza both ran for the Safa presidency in September last year in a bitter contest. The position eventually went to Kirsten Nematandani.

The football body leadership recently launched a commission of inquiry into an alleged plot to topple them, City Press reported.

This follows reports that Khoza was planning a coup straight after the World Cup that would see him unseat Nematandani.

Khoza has said he had agreed with President Jacob Zuma that he would not contest the elections until after the World Cup.

“I reserve the right to challenge the elections if I want to,” he has previously stated.

Smear campaign?
Meanwhile Jordaan has been sensitive to the coup rumours, previously accused the M&G in an interview of being part of a “malicious and twisted” smear campaign instigated by Khoza, when the paper asked him in June about a possible conflict of interest in his brother’s appointment by Match Events Services.

An emotional Jordaan was adamant that the questions raised about his brother, Andrew, had also been instigated by Khoza’s spokesperson and business partner, Dominic Ntsele.

“I know about the war he [Khoza] said was coming after the World Cup. This campaign is against me and how I cannot run or handle this event,” said Jordaan.

The M&G approached him after receiving information that Andrew Jordaan stands to gain more than R3-million from his company’s contract with Match in Port Elizabeth.

Jordaan said that the “war” against him had been going on ever since the Safa elections last September. – Sapa and M&G