Confederation of African Football (Caf) executive member Danny Jordaan has promised that the new force at the helm of African football will improve organisation and emphasise development.
The wind of change blows through Caf with the election in Addis Ababa‚ Ethiopia‚ on Thursday of Madagascar’s football chief Ahmad Ahmad as the confederation’s president. He replaces Issa Hayatou‚ who has held the position for 28 years.
Jordaan has realised his long-held ambition of sitting at African football’s top table when he was elected to Caf’s executive for the next four years.
The Safa president‚ instrumental in bringing the first World Cup to Africa as chairman of South Africa 2010’s Bid and Local Organising Committees‚ had been snubbed on previous attempts.
Hayatou’s tenure had become associated with a stagnation of football on the continent and Caf was seen as having fallen far short of international trends.
Jordaan was asked on his arrival at OR Tambo International Airport on Friday afternoon what faith there is in Ahmad to bring change and improvement to the federation‚ and to what extent the Safa president sees himself as a driving force in that process.
“I think he has said very clearly that he is looking to work with a team‚ not as an individual‚ working by co-operation and not command‚” Jordaan replied.
“And I think that provides space for other people to make an input. I don’t want to have a Caf meeting now‚ with you [the media]. But we will deal with those matters and I’m sure that he will indicate to you what changes will be made.
“Because also he’s already said we must focus on more development‚ and give more development support — more finances to national associations.
“Through the Fifa Forward programme each federation will already receive $1‚2 million a year. And Caf is receiving $5 million‚ which he [Ahmad] said will be distributed to the national associations.
“And then Fifa has a further $575 000 as a solidarity fund to look at national associations in greatest need — poorer associations — to assist them in travel and so on. Because very often they withdraw from competition because they don’t have money to pay for air tickets.
“So I think there will be many changes that you can look forward to.”
A number of Hayatou’s loyalists were swept from power in Caf’s executive committee in Thursday’s dramatic elections.
Jordaan’s election to the executive will see him considered as a potential future leader of Caf.