South African Tokyo Sexwale says “the time for alliances is coming” in a radio interview as four of the candidates for president of FIFA are heading to Qatar for meetings on Saturday.
FIFA presidential candidate Sexwale says ‘time for alliances’
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (JANUARY 28, 2016) (METRO FM RADIO – NO ACCESS SOUTH AFRICA)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, TOKYO SEXWALE, SAYING: (SOUNDBITES CONTINUE OVER REUTERS PICTURES OF TOKYO SEXWALE)
“OK, when speaking in Doha where we’re meeting with other presidents, we’re also were watching the games there; the time for alliance is coming. Now this is the new thing that I’m sayimg. The time for alliance is coming and it’s healthy, it’s democratic, it’s good. The time… if I see that OK, Tokyo’s chances are not that… I’m still FIFA, which president would I want and I’m speaking openly. There are people here who that think this is, there is a war coming; no, no, no Robert (Marawa, the radio presenter) it’s… the time for alliances will come.”
RADIO PRESENTER, ROBERT MARAWA, ASKING: “So you are no cushioning us for a potential stepping down of Tokyo Sexwale from the top five arising?”
“I caution against that, I am saying the time of electoral alliances is going to come, nobody knows who’s going to be the president, nobody knows who’s going to be arrested tomorrow morning, be careful about these things, the time of alliances will come.”
2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIFA PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, TOKYO SEXWALE, SAYING: (SOUNDBITES CONTINUE OVER REUTERS PICTURES OF TOKYO SEXWALE)
“There’s going to be one president, I wish I am that one, there’s going to be one.”
RADIO PRESENTER, ROBERT MARAWA, ASKING: “Do you want to be that one?”
“I have been approached, now that I’m here it’s a good thing, I think it would be a nice thing, I think it would be a good thing, with the skills, with the knowledge, the capacities, with the acumen, with the passion, with the knowledge, I’m going to say it, more knowledge than many people think, you know they know me for politics and and business, people don’t know what they know.”
STORY: Four of the candidates for president of FIFA are heading to Qatar for meetings on Saturday (January 30), with one of them, South African Tokyo Sexwale, saying “the time for alliances is coming”.
The development suggests that electoral horse-trading might be about to begin in the battle to replace Sepp Blatter as head of football’s world governing body.
Spokesmen for the frontrunners, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Gianni Infantino, and for Sexwale confirmed to Reuters that they will be in Doha on Saturday and to meet Asian member associations of FIFA.
A spokesman for Jordanian Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, also a candidate, later confirmed he would be travelling to Qatar for Saturday’s game – the final of the Asian Football Confederation Under-23 Championship between South Korea and Japan.
The other candidates, Jerome Champagne, a former FIFA deputy general secretary, declined to comment on whether he would also be in Qatar.
Speaking on South Africa’s Metro FM radio on Thursday (January 28), Sexwale confirmed that he would also be in Qatar as a “guest of Sheikh Salman” and hinted at eventual support for an Asian candidate.
“OK, when speaking in Doha where we’re meeting with other presidents, we’re also were watching the games there; the time for alliance is coming. Now this is the new thing that I’m sayimg. The time for alliance is coming and it’s healthy, it’s democratic, it’s good.
“If I see that Tokyo’s chances are not good… I am still FIFA, but which president would I want? The time for alliances will come,” he said. That time would be before the February 26 vote, he said.
One of the key power brokers in world sport, Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fadah Al-Sabah, told Reuters in October that he hoped his ally Sheikh Salman, the Asian football chief, and Infantino, the general secretary of the European football body, UEFA, would strike a deal before the vote.
Sexwale’s campaign has been criticised by his own South African Football Federation. Although it stated its support for him this week, the group said his bid had been “low key” and asked him to “come and explain himself”.
Blatter and Michel Platini, who had been a strong favourite to succeed him, were banned over a payment of two million Swiss francs ($2 million) FIFA made to Platini with Blatter’s approval in 2011 for work done a decade earlier.