Sports

Jordaan, Khoza put differences aside

Cape Town – It seemed as though they were suffering from mutual bouts of amnesia as Danny Jordaan and Irvin Khoza seemingly forgot all about their bitter in-fighting at recent SAFA and PSL events.

Short of hugging each other and holding hands, the re-elected SAFA president and PSL chairperson gave no indication they had been at each other's throats while sharing the stage at the national association's congress and PSL Annual Awards function.

Not as much as a whisper of dissent from Khoza regarding Jordaan's overwhelming re-election as SAFA president, not even a suggestion that the presidency question be postponed until cloud hanging over Jordaan's personal affairs is settled.

And when the PSL staged their glitzy, but strangely subdued awards dinner – presenter Robert Marawa went as far as admonishing those in attendance for their silence – the main "Footballer of the Year" award was handed to Percy Tau by Jordaan.

With South African soccer administrators generally having transformed into a dubious art the task of sweeping dirt and disturbing items under the carpet, it was hardly surprising the bitter acrimony was brushed aside.

This, of course, is no reason not to seek and expect a full explanation of the facts that caused Jordaan and Khoza to go 10 bruising rounds against each other in the first place – in order to preserve the welfare, dignity and self-respect of South African soccer in a wider sense, which of them, if not both, was truly culpable in the first place.

In a nutshell, the seeds of the skirmish were planted in a startling allegation of rape against Jordaan by former ANC MP Jennifer Ferguson – which has since been followed up by reports of a second such accuser – with the SAFA president not only denying the charges, but then claiming Khoza was involved in the matter and then implementing claims of defamation, criminal collusion and conspiracy against the PSL chairperson who is known as "The Iron Duke".

Jordaan went as far as to suggest Khoza had paid for Ferguson to return from Europe, where she now resides, in order to lay the charge against him.

Khoza followed up by holding a tough-talking media conference in which he lambasted Jordaan as someone who literally stabs you in the back publicly, then apologises for it in private.

Ferguson, meantime, also denied Khoza had played a role in her laying the charge against Jordaan, claiming that an organisation linked to the "Me Too" women's rights group had persuaded her to take the step after remaining silent for many years – and had also paid for her trip back to South Africa.

Most disturbing, perhaps, is the general blasé, "what me worry" reaction of both SAFA and the PSL to an affair with potentially damaging repercussions for South African soccer in a wider sense.

But then heaping dirt under the carpet is nothing new in the portals of South African soccer – is it?

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