|Danny Jordaan (pix by ESPN)|
Danny Jordaan, the Chief Executive Officer of the South Africa World Cup Organising Committee has called on football officials in Africa to engage their development partners to invest in the game.
Mr. Jordan was a special guest of the Gambia Football Association (GFA) and West African Football Union (WAFU) who jointly hosted the April 9, 2011 General Assembly in Banjul.
Mr. Jordaan, who said “football is essential”, revealed that he is engaging business entities in his country to invest in football across the continent.
“I have already engaged companies in South Africa, that if they are supporting football in my country, and are present in other African countries, why not they invest in football in these countries,” he said.
“Post 2010 Africa is different from pre-2010 Africa because the reality is that most of the Gold in the world is in Africa. Seven of the 20 fast growing economies are in Africa. China and India are the fastest growing economies in the world and has a vast presence in Africa, so we must engage them.”
Mr. Jordaan, who said he was in Banjul because of a long standing memorandum of understanding between south Africa and The Gambia on strategic and development aspect of football, added that the integrity of players in the game remain a huge challenge.
He said various players in the game should maintain honesty in their bid to win trophies. “Teams can always be bold of lifting trophies with pride and honesty, and football associations, referees and players must always be honest,” he charged.
“We have seen clubs in Italy relegated to the second division because of corruption, in Germany, the referees and clubs, so it is a global problem.”
However, he said they must all put hands on deck to address the issue of corruption.
2010 World Cup
Mr. Jordaan said prior to the 2010 World Cup, a lot of things were projected, on South Africa and Africa’s ability to host the competition; a cut off in transmissions like what had happened in euro 2008; crimes; bad infrastructure etc.
However, he said none of these predictions happened as his country went on to stage one of the most successful events in the history of the World Cup.
South Africa has since been chosen to stage the Africa U20 Youth Championship due to begin on April 18, a decision taken by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) during the political turmoil in Libya.
And Mr. Jordaan said the reality is that many confederations have hosted and won the U17, U20 or the Olympic. He said though South Africa is yet to host the Olympic, it has won it on two occasions.