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Safa supports Sexwale’s Fifa president candidacy

Sexwale confirmed last night that he will run for Fifa president in 2016.

FILE: Tokyo Sexwale. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Football Association (Safa) says Tokyo Sexwale has the association's full support in his candidacy for Fifa president.

Sexwale confirmed last night that he will run for Fifa president in 2016.

He will submit his name on Monday as the fifth candidate to declare that he will bid to replace the outgoing Sepp Blatter in February's election.

Sexwale will be up against UEFA president Michel Platini, Jordan's Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein, ex-Fifa official Jerome Champagne and former player David Nakhid.

Safa president Danny Jordaan says Sexwale has his full support.

"He's been a chair of many boards and I think he has the credentials. He's also been of Fifa committees for many years."

Prospective candidates must submit their paperwork to Fifa, including nominations from five football associations, by Monday and they then face an integrity check from the organisation's Ethics group before being cleared to run.

FRIEND OF MANDELA

The unusually high number of nominees could lead to a long and complex election with Fifa's voting system eliminating the candidate with the smallest support after each round of voting.

A close friend of the late former South African president Nelson Mandela, the pair having spent 13 years together at the Robben Island prison, Sexwale was a member of the African National Congress and a post-apartheid government minister before moving into business.

A charismatic figure, he has been involved with Fifa's Anti-Discrimination Task Force and in talks between the Palestinian and Israeli federations.

The 62-year-old was a founder member of the Makana Football Association, the unofficial football organisation for Apartheid-era prisoners on Robben Island.

Sexwale will now look for backing from the Confederation of African Football (Caf) which holds executive committee meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The suspensions of Blatter and Platini earlier this month were the latest twists in Fifa's worst crisis in its 111-year history.

Swiss authorities are also investigating the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively while the US Department of Justice has indicted 14 football officials and sports marketing executives on a series of corruption charges.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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