South African Sexwale may run for FIFA presidency

Sat Aug 1, 2015 4:35pm EDT
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By Simon Evans

ZURICH (Reuters) - South African businessman and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale is considering running for president of world soccer's scandal-hit governing body FIFA, a spokesman told Reuters on Saturday.

"Mr Sexwale has been approached to put his name forward as a candidate for the FIFA presidency by several highly placed personalities within the football fraternity including people from the private sector," said Peter-Paul Ngwenya of the South African's Global Watch foundation.

"He is in the process of consulting following which he will then make up his mind," Ngwenya told Reuters by email.

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 was a post-apartheid government minister before moving into business.

The 62-year-old will hope to win strong support from Africa if he runs for FIFA's top job.

Michel Platini, president of European soccer's ruling body UEFA, has emerged as the early frontrunner in the race to replace Sepp Blatter as head of FIFA.

BRIBERY CHARGES   Continued...

Head of the Palestinian Football Association Jibril Rajoub (2nd R) walks with anti-apartheid activist Tokyo Sexwale (R) past Israel's controversial barrier as they arrive for a news conference in the West Bank town of Al-Ram, near Jerusalem, May 7, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman