Danny Jordaan ramps up Women's World Cup bid, Arsène Wenger to help SA football

SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan speny some quality time with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan speny some quality time with FIFA boss Gianni Infantino. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Mar 1, 2023


Cape Town - While the eyes of the football world were fixed on Paris for the outcome of the Best Fifa Football Awards 2022, Danny Jordaan was in the French capital applying his mind to matters beneficial for the growth of the South African game.

The SA Football Association (Safa) president was able to engage Fifa president Gianni Infantino at the organisation’s Paris bureau, a strategic base for football development activities.

Jordaan said he and Infantino reflected on the World Cup in Qatar and spoke about the 2026 showpiece, which will be hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico.

“The 2026 World Cup will be significant for Africa because the tournament has expanded from 32 to 48 teams,” said Jordaan.

“Africa’s representation (has) moved up from five to 10 teams and it’s important that African affiliates are well prepared.

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“It’s an extraordinary challenge (for Africa) but I think it’s a platform to raise the level of competition, the profile of global football, and the level of revenue generation.

“Because South Africa hosted the first African World Cup (in 2010), I was keen to listen to Infantino talk about the Middle East’s first World Cup.

“These things are important because it demonstrates the growth and development of football all over the world.

“As Fifa says, they aim to make the game truly global, and to make the game truly global we must not only play the game, we must also host nations in our continents and in our countries.”

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The African teams enjoyed their fair share of the Qatar limelight after Morocco made Fifa World Cup history by reaching the semi-finals.

Cameroon were also in the spotlight after the ‘Indomitable Lions’ became the first African nation to defeat Brazil at the World Cup.

It was also the first time that Brazil lost a group-stage match in 24 years. It is significant to note that Brazil were ranked No 1 in the world at the time.

Jordaan has been working hard to win support for a 2027 Women’s World Cup bid, which has been sanctioned by national government, which has given Safa the go-ahead to register their bid with Fifa.

At this stage, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have expressed an interest in hosting the 2027 event.

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Jordaan, who was one of several officials to spearhead SA’s triumphant 2010 World Cup bid, said the country has all the infrastructure in place to host the event.

“We now await the terms and conditions from Fifa,” Jordaan said.

“The venues are in place, the training grounds are in place, the accommodation and the roads are in place.”

Fifa’s chief of global football development Arsène Wenger will visit South Africa this month to advise on how to improve football in the country.

“We have engaged Wenger on how to build globally competitive teams,” said Jordaan.

“He made an evaluation of every country and wrote a report about increasing global competitiveness.

“We would like to see how we could increase global competitiveness in South African football.”