FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale has defended Sepp Blatter’s record and says he feels sorry for both him and the axed UEFA boss Michel Platini.
Sexwale, an anti-apartheid South African who was in prison with Nelson Mandela on Robben Island for 13 years, is hoping to succeed Blatter in next month’s elections.
He has worked at FIFA for nine years and was a key member of South Africa’s successful World Cup 2010 bid.
I've spoken on the phone to Blatter and Platini, and they are leaders so they have to deal with it. They have to face their mistakes, but let's not bury the good that they have done.
Sexwale has said that Blatter’s reign as the leader of FIFA should not be overlooked.
‘‘I feel very sorry for him. He is a friend… Blatter’s work is a monument that stands for itself. It is a mountain that cannot be moved. It is up to the ethics committee what happens. The damage done is for posterity but it is not like they’ve murdered or committed genocide,’‘ said the businessman.
Sexwale has promised, if elected, to implement reform and make FIFA more transparent.
He wants to increase aid and development funding in poorer nations and has also pledged to develop women’s football.