The year, 2004, the World dances in joy and is gripped in the throes of ecstasy, the unthinkable had happened and South Africa had won the rights to host the first ever FIFA World Cup on African soil, to be held in 2010.
South African President Thabo Mbeki gleefully quipped on National television that “we want to ensure that, one day, historians will reflect upon the 2010 World Cup as a moment when Africa stood tall and resolutely turned the tide on centuries of poverty and conflict.”
South Africa had beaten both Morocco and Egypt to these hosting rights after then FIFA President Sepp Blatter had acknowledged that without intervention, there was a likelihood that some FIFA affiliated confederations may never host the World Cup.
Blatter, a shrewd political animal therefore introduced the “rotation policy” where the hosting rights were granted to each Confederation to the exclusion of all others, which is how South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 got those rights before FIFA terminated the rotation policy in 2007, ahead of the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
South Africa used the enormous political and aesthetic appeal of the Worlds most beloved human being, former South African President Nelson Mandela, to lobby for the coming of the World Cup to South Africa.
The entire World remembers ‘Madiba” clutching onto the FIFA WC Trophy lovingly, beaming into cameras, whose images were then broadcast all over the World.
And Mandela had every right to be very pleased, he had similarly held aloft the Rugby World Cup in 1995 alongside mercurial Springboks Captain Francois Pienaar, when South Africa hosted and won the epic showcase event for the first time in history under majority (black) rule.
Mandela was very optimistic that his standing side-by-side with Pienaar, holding onto a trophy that epitomized an almost exclusively white sport would help to build bridges that had been non-existent for close to two centuries.
But Rugby was not football…not by a long shot.
President Mbeki was even more upbeat about what the social and economic prospects that hosting a football World Cup would be, and especially in re-making the broken social fabric of South Africa.
He genuinely felt that hosting the World Cup would help transform South Africa into “a diverse and tolerant society whose local economy is surging ahead like an express train”
But alas, barely 15 years later, the South African economy is slowly grinding its way into a recession and the bitterness of black South Africans is expressed in the form of cyclic xenophobic attacks and murders on African foreigners.
At the back of this successful bid and later execution of the hosting of the 2010 World Cup was Dr. Danny Jordaan, Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee and currently the President of the South African Football Association (SAFA).
The South African Government reportedly spent in excess of £2.4 Billion to build 6 brand new World Class Stadiums, and to upgrade roads and airports in anticipation of the World Cup pre and post event boom.
However, apparently hidden in the belly of that colossal amount of money was a $10 million bribe to members of the FIFA Executive Committee at the time, in return for the positive vote to host the 2010 World Cup.
These revelations came out in 2015 following the Fifa-gate scandal that led to the indictment of Jack Warner (former FIFA vice president and executive committee member) by the US Department of Justice for selling his vote to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
In 2016, FIFA publicly acknowledged for the first time that some of its officials had received $ 10 million in order to grant votes in favour of South Africa for the hosting rights to the 2010 World Cup.
Apparently, Jack Warner used his son Daryan as the intermediary to engineer this $10 million bribe on behalf of the FIFA Exco members.
The South African officials, in their defence conceded that they paid $10 million but that it was not a bribe rather that it was a donation to CONCACAF (The confederation for North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) where Jack Warner was President 1990 – 2011.
Danny Jordaan, CEO of the World Cup LOC at the time, responded though his spokesperson Roland Williams, denying that they had done anything wrong.
The money, was supposedly channeled through the Diaspora Legacy Programme, to be “administered and implemented directly” by Jack Warner.
Former SAFA President at the time Molefi Oliphant said that he felt betrayed by Jordaan who had secretly written a letter that authorized the bribe money to be moved from FIFA to CONCACAF without his knowledge. Oliphant said that he was “shocked and felt betrayed” after realising Jordaan had failed to disclose the existence of a December 10th, 2007 letter that he (Jordaan) had written to FIFA requesting that payments be made to the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).
This was money due to SAFA and the 2010 LOC from FIFA that was diverted to fund the bribes mainly because the bulk of expenses had already been underwritten by the South African taxpayers.
To date, Jordaan sits pretty on the legacy fund that ought to have benefited all of Africa, further rubbishing his Pan-African and anti-apartheid claims.
South African officials subsequently closed ranks on this explanation and an independent investigation by state agencies was quietly nipped in the bud.
Did Nelson Mandela know that all the effort he and others had put into the bid process had to be buttressed by a $10 million bribe to FIFA Exco members, who had the singular authority and mandate to make the decision?
Or did they all use his legacy and personality as a front while they whipped out their collective cocks and took a loud piss on everything Madiba stood for?
The ghost of the claims by the US DoJ that two South African officials were implicated in the bribery of FIFA Executive Council members followed Jordaan all the way to the 2017 bid for a seat on the now-renamed FIFA Council.
With the accusations hanging over him like the sword of Damocles, and FIFA itself conducting integrity tests on all candidates for its seats, Jordaan quickly withdrew his name from contention at the last minute, choosing instead to vie for the lower CAF Exco seat.
Today, Dr. Danny Jordaan holds the title of 3rd Vice-President of CAF, following the massive reshuffle in CAF last July that saw the eviction of Nigerian Amaju Pinnick and the promotion of Congolese Constant Omari and Moroccan Fouzi Lekjaa to the positions of 1st and 2nd Vice-Presidents respectively.
In what must have been an after-thought and an attempt to re-make the decision to withdraw, Jordaan decided to run once more the FIFA seat in September 2018 to replace the disgraced Ghanaian Kwesi Nyantakyi who had been forced to resign following a corruption exposé by famed journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.
This time however, Jordaan had annoyed some very powerful figures in CAF by announcing his decision not to vote for Morocco’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026 earlier the same year.
Jordaan walked into an ambush arranged by CAF President Ahmad and Moroccan Fouzi Lekjaa at Sharm Al Sheikh, Egypt where he was trounced by little known Malawian Walter Nyamilandu.
By January 2019, with the withdrawal of hosting rights for the 2019 AFCON from Cameroon, CAF was looking for any country that could host the biennial showcase at short notice.
Clearly South Africa was a key contender for the hosting, considering the massive infrastructure investment from the World Cup 2010, and surely a no-brainer.
However, Ahmad in another display of complete domination, completely ignored the South African bid and instead chose to go with Egypt.
By this time, Jordaan had apparently learnt his lesson and realized that Ahmad and his cronies had the ability to make life extremely difficult for him, and he therefore capitulated in the most humiliating way imaginable.
All of a sudden we began to sense a change in attitude towards him when we noted his getting invites to such highly intimate events like the Super Cup in Qatar.
The World would painfully learn of his treachery during the AFCON in Cairo 2019 when various members of the CAF Exco felt that Ahmad had brought enough humiliation to CAF by being arrested in Paris for corruption, bribery and money-laundering of CAF funds, and therefore proposed to pass a vote of no-confidence in him.
The conspirators made the terrible mistake of sharing their plan with Jordaan, not knowing that he had been flipped in the months leading to the AFCON. Immediately they had given him all the details that he made a beeline for Ahmad’s hotel room in Cairo with this new information and spilled his guts, an unforgiveable act of treachery.
In the next few hours, Exco members who had agreed to the plan were being summoned to Ahmad’s room or being accosted by his kitchen cabinet where they were threatened, cajoled or blackmailed into swearing fealty to Ahmad.
It was this treachery that eventually got the Nigerian FA President Amaju Pinnick to be ejected from the position of 1st Vice-President and later got Liberian Musa Hassan Bility banned by FIFA for 10 years. Jordaan was instantly rewarded too, the elevation of both Omari and Lekjaa to 1st and 2nd VPs respectively, he was given the now vacant position of CAF 3rd VP, signaling the beginning of a new era for him.
Ironically, SAFA have this week pulled out of the Futsal AFCON that is scheduled to take place from 28th January to 7th February in the City of Laayoune in Western Sahara, a territory recognized by the African Union but which is still colonized by Morocco.
Danny Jordaan has been fairly consistent on this issue of Western Sahara and of African countries colonizing other African countries. It is for this self-same reason that South Africa opted not to vote for the Morocco bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, a decision that we have seen caused him untold misery in the football family.
Remember too, that Morocco had withdrawn from the Organization of African Unity (precursor to the current African Union) in the 1980s over the OAU decision to recognize the sovereignty of W. Sahara and only made a return 3 years ago.
Sadly, the African Union swept the issue of Western Sahara under the carpet when it met to discuss terms of reinstatement with Morocco.
Now SAFA and Danny Jordaan have taken a stand.
So we ask, while obviously very passionately opposed to the idea of physical colonization of independent territories, is Danny Jordaan opposed to the colonization of CAF by FIFA through the very ambiguous and patronizing arrangement?
Would Danny Jordaan vote for the continued stay at CAF of Fatma Samoura, as FIFA special delegate to CAF?
Wouldn’t such a vote underscore his duplicitous nature, where on one hand he claims to feel passionately about the colonisation of Western Sahara but happily accepts the same treatment of CAF where he has been elected to the Executive committee?
What interesting times we live in, but now we have an opportunity to see for ourselves whether or not Jordaan is deserving of the apartheid-era moniker for a turn-coat and a sell-out, impimpi!