Panafrican News Agency

South Africa: Concern over Sexwale's lacklustre FIFA campaign

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – There are growing calls for South African politician and businessman Tokyo Sexwale to withdraw from the race for the FIFA presidency, amid concerns that he has no chance of making a serious bid.

Sexwale, the only African candidate bidding for the job, is up against four candidates who hope to replace Sepp Blatter who resigned in disgrace last year amid a major corruption scandal.

Ironically, South Africa has been implicated in the scandal after it emerged that senior football administrators donated funds to a Caribbean football development programme allegedly to help secure the rights to host the 2010 World Cup. South African police have launched criminal investigation into the matter

The South African Football Association (SAFA), which initially supported Sexwale’s bid, has expressed concerns about his “low-profile” campaign and is seeking a meeting with him ahead of a Confederation of African Football (CAF) meeting in Kigali on 5 February.

Sexwale, a former struggle activist who was jailed with Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, became a successful politician and then businessman in the years after the collapse of apartheid. He also served on the team that secured South Africa the rights to host the 2010 World Cup, and currently serves on FIFA's anti-racism and anti-discrimination committee.

However, he is still widely regarded as a light-weight contender against Prince Ali bin al Hussein, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa, Gianni Infantino and Jerome Champagne.

Meanwhile, Sexwale on Monday withdrew from a planned televised debate in Brussels after it emerged that Champagne was the only candidate who agreed to participate.

The FIFA presidential election will be held in Zurich on 26 February.
-0- PANA CU/MA 26Jan2016