Sexwale still mulling bid for FIFA presidency

MONACO (Reuters) – South African businessman and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale is still mulling whether to run for the presidency of soccer’s governing body FIFA, he said on Thursday.

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South African businessman Tokyo Sexwale addresses journalists in Cape Town, October 25, 2007. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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Sexwale, currently head of FIFA’s Israel-Palestine monitoring committee, announced via a spokesman at the start of this month that he was considering joining the race to replace outgoing president Sepp Blatter.

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“I will make my mind very, very clear in due course but obviously we are headed for a situation where FIFA is looking forward to have a new president and I will leave the matter there,” he told reporters in a conference call to discuss the Israel-Palestine issue.

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“I am just applying my mind and I will make it up in due course, my focus now is working for FIFA.”

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“I am honoured by the fact that FIFA has asked me to play a role in its structures,” added Sexwale, who has also been part of an anti-racism campaign. “FIFA has given me lots of responsibilities. I am weighting all options.”

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A close friend of the late former South African president Nelson Mandela, with whom he spent 13 years in the Robben Island prison, Sexwale was a member of the African National Congress and was a post-Apartheid government minister before moving into business.

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UEFA president Michel Platini is seen as the frontrunner to replace Blatter, who was re-elected for a fifth term on May 29 but announced four days later that he would lay down his mandate.

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Soccer’s governing body was thrown into turmoil in May when 14 sports marketing executives and soccer officials, including several from FIFA, were indicted in the United States on bribery, money laundering and wire fraud charges.

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