Danny Jordaan casts his vote during the weekend's Safa elective congress. Photo: @Safa_net on twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Danny Jordaan started his speech, after he was re-elected unopposed as Safa president for another five years, with a call from the president of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad.

Jordaan put his phone on loud speaker next to the microphone on the podium so that the packed congress at the Sandton Convention Centre could hear Ahmad congratulating him on his 95.12% victory. It was a typical politician’s move, playing to the gallery.

In a press conference after his victory, Jordaan lashed out at Ace Ncobo - calling his utterances “nonsense” following allegations from Ncobo that this congress was “illegal and unlawful” after he pulled out from the presidential race. Jordaan’s parting shot to the media was that “the people have spoken”.

They certainly did. And even if Ncobo ran in the elections, it looks like Jordaan would have still won by a landslide. But the time of self-congratulations is over, Jordaan and the new council members have a lot to do in the next five years, including fixing the image of Safa.

The brand took a battering leading up to Saturday’s elective congress. It didn’t help that Safa insisted on backing Jordaan despite being accused of rape. 

The lowest moment was when they highlighted the strides made in women’s football right after proclaiming their support for Jordaan despite allegations against him. It was a terribly condescending and insensitive move. The current administration must polish the tarnished image of the Safa brand. They can achieve that through clean and transparent governance.

Safa was hell-bent on continuing with the elections on March 24 even though that would have broken a number of their own rules and the electoral code.
He will also need to work to improve women’s football.

“I hope that things will settle down in South African football (now that these elections are over), focus on its future,” Jordaan said.

“The period from 2018 to 2022 is going to be crucial. We want to look at how we can strengthen women’s football in the country. We have 810 women serving football at grassroots level.

“That is a fundamental shift in the role of women in football.

“Secondly from a players’ perspective, we have seen an increase in the number of women footballers from 212000 to 456000. We want to strengthen that. There are two things that we need to look at to achieve that. The launch of the women’s national league next year and looking at the feasibility of hosting a women’s World Cup.”

In addition, the council must hold elected officials accountable.

The members of the Safa council, both in the national and provincial lists, were reminded right after they assumed their positions that they are not there to serve themselves but to serve football and the football supporters in the country. They should consistently hold each other accountable by ensuring that they put the country’s interest first and not theirs.

The council members, which also includes the president, are basically drivers of the Safa bus. It’s their job to ensure that that “bus” doesn’t get into a ditch but they take South African football to the next level. 

The key to achieving that is holding everyone in that committee accountable to ensure that they diligently do their job.

The Star

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