SAFA president Danny Jordaan says he wants South Africa to host the FIFA Cup World Cup as well as the FIFA Women's Soccer World Cup. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Danny Jordaan, the SA Football Association president who was elected for a second term a week ago, says that one of his immediate tasks is to make sure South Africa host the Fifa Club World Cup, a tournament in which Mamelodi Sundowns became the first ever representatives from this country in 2016.

He was re-elected after standing unopposed following challenger Ace Ncobo’s late withdrawal at the Sandton Convention Centre as he insisted the process was “fraudulent”.

Jordaan hasn’t wasted time in mapping out the way forward  and that includes Safa spearheading the bid for SA to not only host either the 2023 or 2027 Women’s World Cup but the Club World Cup as well.

“Once you have hosted a major event, you are compliant to host another one. But the longer you take then there is a gap between the best facilities, infrastructure and what you had 10 or 20 years ago,” he said, referring to SA staging the 2010 World Cup.

“Fifa have now proposed to move the seven-team Club World Cup to having 24 teams. And from an African and CAF perspective we still want to engage them on allocation. At the moment they are saying out of the 24 teams Europe gets 12, Africa gets two, North America gets two, Asia gets two and then six goes to South America.”

Jordaan said the continent football federations were unhappy with the proposal as it stands, especially seeing that Fifa want the Club World Cup to now take place every four years instead of annually like it is the case at the moment.

“They will therefore take the two finalists from the European Champions League over four years, which makes it eight. And then they will take the one winner from the Europa League over that same period,” he explained.

“But that is as far as it goes. How are you going to break down the allocation for African teams when you are only taking two teams over four years? I am going to meet with (Fifa president) Gianni Infantino in Moscow at the World Cup to discuss these issues. We have just fought for years for more allocation in the World Cup (from 2026 the global showpiece will expand to 48 teams instead of 32) and now this. If that is the logic for the European Champions League, then CAF will also have the same number of winners. Why not cut back on the finalists and just take the winners of the four tournaments? Why are you bringing a loser back as a finalist? It would be amazing for SA to host and it would be a huge incentive for our teams, something beyond domestic football.”

2026 World Cup bid

Meanwhile, Safa’s newly elected national executive committee will decide which way SA votes regarding the World Cup in 2026 - having to choose between the United States’ joint bid with Canada and Mexico or fellow Africans Morocco.

“The congress in Moscow is on June 13, and part of the business there is to vote for the country that will host the World Cup in 2016. As Safa we will discuss this matter on Sunday (today) in Polokwane (where the Cosafa Cup is behind played). We will invite the Minister of Sport (Tokozile Xasa) to attend,” Jordaan said.

Xasa last month made it clear that Safa should not support Morocco because of the strained ties since the North Africans withdrew their ambassador from Pretoria in 2004 when SA recognised the independence of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic also known as the Western Sahara.

“We have had presentation from Morocco and they are essentially saying their bid is an African bid. They are now members of the African Union since last year and they say their commitment is to Africa,” said Jordaan, who had expected to also listen to the North American joint bid yesterday.

Morocco’s bid took a knock on Friday, however, when Fifa inspectors branded them as high risk in as far as stadiums, accommodation and transport go. The North American bid was not flagged in any of these areas, being scored four out of five, while Morocco received a 2.7 out of five by the bid evaluation task force.

Sunday Independent

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