Tokyo Sexwale confirmed his intention to run for the Fifa presidency after the football body red-carded Sepp Blatter and a number of other officials. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES
Tokyo Sexwale confirmed his intention to run for the Fifa presidency in October after the football body red-carded Sepp Blatter and a number of other officials. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES

WHAT if Tokyo Sexwale’s bid to become the most powerful person in world football is successful and he actually wins the bloody thing next month?

This question has come up a few times around the office water coolers in the past few days and it seems to have polarised opinion into sharply opposing factions.

In one corner, you have a group that wakes up in the morning, looks to the heavens, gives thanks to the Lord and then prays that Sexwale does not become Fifa president in their lifetime.

Given how strongly they are opposed to the man, members of this group might need a spell in hospital if Sexwale wins the election, and the jury is out on the lengths they are willing to go to in order to prevent this from happening.

Then there is another group that has put all its eggs in the Sexwale basket and they genuinely hope the former South African politician is the man to lead the troubled sport ravaged by corruption scandals back to the Promised Land next month.

This group desperately wants Africa to put its weight behind Sexwale in the same way it supported the Fifa World Cup when the event came to this part of the globe for the first time six years ago.

And finally, there is a third group that is pretty much indifferent to the circus that is Fifa and couldn’t give a flying toss what happens in Zürich on February 26.

These are the folk who involuntarily yawn at the mention of the Fifa election and would much rather watch grass grow than obsess about who is likely to succeed Sepp Blatter.

In the midst of all this, the bookmakers would have us believe that Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa from Bahrain is the strong favourite and he only needs to turn up in Zürich to become the next Fifa president.

Sections of the foreign media seem to agree with this assertion and the sheikh’s name is usually accompanied by generous words such as ‘‘strong favourite to win".

Apparently, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein from Jordan is the second favourite, and Uefa’s general-secretary Gianni Infantino is third on this list.

If the reports are to be believed, Jerome Champagne and Sexwale are only in the race to make up the numbers.

But one thing I know about this game and its politics, nothing is ever as it seems.

There are no certainties, especially at Fifa level, and it is conceivable that many of those who have offered the good sheikh and the prince the warmest of smiles and sincere handshakes were actually clutching well-sharpened daggers behind their backs.

Things change at the drop of a hat in football and what you see is not necessarily what you get.

Hell, who would have thought this time last year that the powerful trio of Blatter, Michel Platini and Jerome Valcke would have been banished to the football wilderness today?

You would have been told to go easy on the cough syrup had you suggested a year ago that the FBI would bring down an organisation that was often described as more powerful than most governments in the world.

You would have been told to get help had you suggested a year ago that Issa Hayatou would be acting Fifa president, Sexwale would be vying for the same office and Valcke would be persona non grata at Fifa House.

So, what’s to stop Sexwale from believing he can become the most powerful person in world football in 37 days’ time when this game is as unpredictable as a charging rogue elephant?

• South African football is poorer after the death of Maritzburg United player Mondli Cele in Pietermaritzburg early on Sunday.

Cele died in a car crash that also claimed the life of SABC sports journalist Delisiwe Ngwenya, who was a passenger in the vehicle the soccer player was driving.

Cele died in hospital and Ngwenya died at the scene of the crash.

The player, described as his family’s breadwinner, had scored a goal in Maritzburg United’s 3-3 draw with Orlando Pirates hours earlier in what turned out to be his last game.

My deepest condolences go to the Cele and the Ngwenya families during this extremely difficult time.

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