JOHANNESBURG, South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan has for the first time spoken about his recent overseas trips, and especially about speculation that his visit to the United States, was to meet the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for alleged bribery.
There were reports after Jordaan became the Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Metro that he was wanted by the FBI in connection with an alleged 10 million US dollars bribe paid for South Africa to win the right to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Addressing a packed media conference here Wednesday, also attended by SAFA sponsors, Jordaan said he visited had recently many other countries, including Switzerland where the FIFA headquarters are, to renew ties with soccer federations in those countries.
Jordaan, who headed the local organizing committee for the 2010 World Cup, has not travelled extensively since the FIFA scandal broke, a scandal which saw many of its top officials arrested and its president and vice president, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, banned from football activities.
It was even said in some quarters that the FBI were just waiting to pounce on Jordaan when he travelled overseas.
Jordaan explained his reasons for his recent overseas visits. "The United States visit, we went to visit many places to re-establish our contacts with football (officials). You may know we've been to Switzerland, Bahrain, Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia and Gabon."
The media briefing had been called by the association to interact with the media on a range of issues, including strides made moving towards meeting the goals of SAFA's vision 2022, the association's finances and programmes for various national teams.
Jordaan painted a rosy picture of the association, saying it was the first time in history that junior national teams had qualified for major international tournaments. "Our national teams probably performed very well in the history of the association, our under-17 qualified for Chile, Under-20 for Korea, we also have Banyana (national women's team) qualifying for the AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations tournament) in 2014 and 2016, we were the only federation that sent both its men's and women's teams to the Olympic Games and Bafana qualified for AFCON in Equatorial Guinea."
He also touched on the financial standing of the association, saying they are far from being in the red as reported.
Other issues Jordaan touched on included the establishment of a women's national football league which he said would happen before the end of the year.
He also pointed out that there was interest in the Banyana Banyana coaching position which has been vacant since Vera Pauw's contract ended.
Former Banyana Banyana player Desiree Ellis has been caretaker coach, but it looks like a foreign coach will be appointed with Jordaan mentioning that they were also looking at possible coaches for the team from the United States.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK