JOHANNESBURG – Danny Jordaan was elected as the new South African Football Association (Safa) president at the organisation's elective congress at Helderfontein Estate in Midrand on Saturday.
Jordaan beat Mandla "Shoes" Mazibuko to the top spot and would replace outgoing president Kirsten Nematandani.
Jordaan garnered 162 votes to the 88 Mazibuko received from the 52 regions.
Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, Lucas Nhlapo and Elvis Shishana were elected as the three vice-presidents from the five nominated.
“It was a tremendous day for South African football,” Jordaan said after the results had been announced.
“I'm very happy I've been give the honour and have accepted gratefully.”
Jordaan served as Safa CEO from 1997 to 2004 and was largely responsible for South Africa's bids for the 2006 and 2010 World Cup finals.
Jordaan said the Safa elective would work together under his leadership and avoid in-fighting between groups.
“This is a Safa election, not an election of one group or another.
“All the executive members are elected, so all those people are not in football by chance. They have earned their place.
“The Safa executive will serve South African football.”
Jordaan said he hoped to improve the coaching situation in South Africa, firstly by increasing their numbers and also improving their qualifications.
“We have almost 2000 players per coach.
“Let's look at education — you have 2000 kids in the classroom and the teacher has the lowest qualification, then you expect the students to be the best. It doesn't work like that.”
The development of South African football had to change radically, according to Jordaan.
“The challenge for all of us is the development and reconstruction of South African football.
“Many say we are a football nation but I say we are not.
“Germany is playing 80 000 junior matches over a weekend. Spain is playing 30 000. France is playing 40 000.
“If you find 3000 matches in South Africa you're doing well. So that's the problem. We have to get the junior leagues going.”
In the run-up to the elections, Jordaan, 62, had spoken about rebuilding South African soccer from 'grass roots level' in his bid to restore the image of Safa.
Mazibuko had been a supporter of Orlando Pirates boss Irvin Khoza, who had been considered a powerful candidate to contest the election.
Khoza, however, was ruled ineligible after the disclosure of a resolution in the Safa constitution which prevented a club owner from becoming president of the national body.
Mazibuko was then nominated to oppose Jordaan but the president of the SA Schools Football Association was unable to garner enough support for the top position in Safa. – Sapa