CAPE TOWN, – Danny Jordaan, the central figure in South Africa’s 2010 World Cup bid which is now implicated in vote buying, is concentrating on his new role as mayor of the coastal city of Port Elizabeth rather than answering allegations made in U.S. court documents. Jordaan, also the president of the South African Football Association, was billed to appear at a Johannesburg press conference on Wednesday to answer the allegations but did not appear. Instead sports minister Fikile Mbalula repeated South African government denials.
“He is fully focused on his tasks as mayor. He has been spending his time consulting with various communities about the city’s budget,” Jordaan’s spokesman Roland Williams told local radio on Thursday.
South Africa stands accused of bribing FIFA executive committee for votes to obtain the right to host the 2010 World Cup, court documents said.
Jordaan, the driving force behind the 2010 bid and after that the chief executive officer of the local organising committee, was inaugurated as mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality, including Port Elizabeth and outlying areas, last Thursday.
The ruling African National Congress, for whom he is a former member of Parliament, asked him to take over a troubled city council racked by factional conflict. They said he was A perfect candidate because of his administrative success in helping South Africa win the hosting of the 2010 World Cup.
But the move could backfire as allegations that South Africa paid bribes for votes are detailed in U.S. court documents following the indictment of 14 football officials in the last week, including serving and former FIFA vice presidents.