Sexwale seeks Africa backing for Fifa post

Tokyo Sexwale's five nominations came from Africa, the Fifa presidential election candidate revealed before leaving yesterday for a meeting with Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou.

Businessman, politician and anti-apartheid activist Sexwale said he had since received more than the necessary five nominations by Monday's midnight deadline to confirm his candidacy among eight contenders.

The former 2010 bid committee member said allegations that a $10-million (about R136-million) bribe was paid to the Caribbean Football Union to help secure the World Cup will not hinder his campaign.

"It does not affect me," Sexwale said.

"It's not my money. It didn't belong to the LOC. So whoever lost that money must pay for it."

The elections will take place at Fifa's extraordinary meeting in Zurich on February 26 2016. They follow Sepp Blatter stepping down in June, four days after his re-election for a fifth term. Blatter has since been suspended by Fifa's ethics committee.

"After that suddenly, every dog, cat, every animal in the Serengeti, decided they want to be president," Sexwale said.

"At that time I was approached by various people within the football world, in various confederations, business people, people in government, people in civil society, to consider putting myself forward for the position. I decided to apply my mind to weigh all options - it took over a month until I decided I think it is appropriate."

Sexwale responded to questions about his football credentials by citing his chairmanship of Robben Island's Makana Football Association, his company Mvelaphanda Holdings sponsoring SA's National First Division and involvement in the 2010 World Cup bid and organising committees.

Sexwale has served on Fifa's anti-discrimination task force and fair play and media committees, and as a mediator between the Israeli and Palestinian federations.

"I have been with Fifa, in football, for nine years. Next year February I will finish a decade," Sexwale said.

"My involvement in football starts with the dust bowl - because 90% of football is not played where [Wayne] Rooney runs around.

"And that's what I want to tell the Caf leadership. What is broken in Fifa is not the pitch, it's the administration."

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.