Nigeria promises to campaign for Sundowns' owner

Safa explains why it backs Motsepe for CAF presidency

Sport minister Nathi Mthethwa and Safa president Danny Jordaan reveal Patrice Motsepe's candidature.
Sport minister Nathi Mthethwa and Safa president Danny Jordaan reveal Patrice Motsepe's candidature.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

SA billionaire club owner Patrice Motsepe is on a 10-day quarantine, but he is smiling from ear to ear following his nomination for the biggest job in African football.

The SA Football Association (Safa) and three countries, Nigeria, Botswana and Sierra Leone endorsed his CAF presidential candidacy.

So far, Motsepe, CAF president Ahmad Ahmad and an official from the Ivory Coast have emerged as candidates vying for the big job in African football.

The elections will take place on March 12 in Morocco next year. The deadline for submissions is on Thursday.

Safa president Danny Jordaan and sports minister Nathi Mthethwa gave the decision to back Motsepe for the presidency the thumbs up at Safa House yesterday.

Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick also rubber-stamped Motsepe’s candidature.

“We believe that he is the right man to lead CAF because of his business brains, his legal training, network and skills, and his love for African football. He is the appropriate person that could offer the right leadership for African football. He can increase the growth of women football and introduce technology in African football,” said Jordaan.

Jordaan said he started the conversation to nominate Motsepe with Pinnick over a long period.

“I want to give thanks and credit to Pinnick. He indicated that he would also consider the nomination, but after our discussion, he said, what about Motsepe, and we started to get the ball rolling. The first letter of support and endorsement came from Pinnick in a long letter explaining why he decided to support Motsepe,” explained Jordaan.

Jordaan made Safa's position clear and that they would not support Ahmad from the Cosafa region. He said he told Ahmad, of Madagascar, that they would support Motsepe.

Mthethwa, meanwhile, said the government supported the decision to endorse the 58-year-old owner of Mamelodi Sundowns and described him as the best business brain.

“We endorse his candidacy and urge all South Africans to do the same. We will engage with other countries to support him. He has a sense of duty for his country, and with him, we will have better African football,” said Mthethwa.

Pinnick said he would not rest until Motsepe became president of CAF.

“We will work night and day to make sure he gets elected. He will be the president of CAF. We will engage other countries to support him. African football would grow under him,” Pinnick added. 

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