SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan and Confederation of African Football (Caf) presidential candidate Patrice Motsepe are confident the South African delegation will have no problems obtaining visas from Morocco to attend the continental body’s elective congress.
Mamelodi Sundowns owner Motsepe will contest the election in Rabat, Morocco on March 12 against Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast‚ Augustin Senghor of Senegal and Mauritanian Ahmed Yahya.
Safa had expressed concern, after Kaizer Chiefs were denied entry to Morocco for their Caf Champions League match against Wydad Casablanca on February 13, that SA’s delegation to the Caf congress could encounter similar problems.
“Concerning the visa, I don’t want to waste time – I really don’t think that’s an issue. [I believe] that at the right time we will get visas,” Motsepe said.
“And again the key issue is that we have to use football to bring people together all over the continent. And also, the sort of political issues where there are differences, we respect that and we recognise that.
“And let them try at the AU level, and at the UN and globally to find solutions. We need Africa to be at peace with itself.”
Jordaan, a panellist at the event, held up his cellphone and added: “Can I just say, I have the visa application form for Morocco here. So we are going to Morocco, the congress will be in Morocco – there is no problem.”
Asked to clarify if that means the visas had been granted, or only the application put in, Motsepe responded: “He [Jordaan] says they are still applying. I can tell you, I don’t think there’s an issue there.”
SA and Morocco have clashed politically over SA’s recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in the disputed territory of Western Sahara‚ which was annexed by Morocco in 1975. Safa‚ at the instruction of the government‚ voted for US‚ Canada and Mexico over Morocco as hosts of the 2026 Fifa World Cup.
Motsepe and his campaign moved to dispel the notion that his presidency bid was also at odds with the football interests of Morocco, who had been perceived as the puppet master behind predecessor Ahmad Ahmad. There had been fears over dirty tricks regarding the SA delegation’s visas.
Ahmad was banned from football for five years by Fifa in November for ethics contraventions. – TimesLive