Factbox: FIFA presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale
LONDON (Reuters) - Factbox on South African Tokyo Sexwale, one of five candidates standing for the FIFA presidency in an election on Feb. 26:
- Born in Soweto on March 5, 1953, he grew up amid the turmoil of the township struggle against the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
- Has run something of a lacklustre campaign and pointedly, has not been backed by his own African confederation, with CAF (Confederation of African Football) making public in January its support of Asian president Sheikh Salman.
- Sexwale was a student leader who fled into exile and joined the armed resistance of the African National Congress, receiving training in Russia.
- He was captured trying to get back into South Africa and sentenced to 18 years on terrorism offences, sent to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was also incarcerated.
- He spent 13 years in prison and after his release was elected to the ANC’s executive committee and became a regional chairman.
- In 1994, after South Africa’s first democratic elections, he was appointed Premier of Gauteng Province, the industrial heartland of South Africa, incorporating the capital Pretoria and the economic hub of Johannesburg.
- Left his post in 1998 to go into business, quickly making millions in empowerment deals in the mining sector. Sexwale remained a member of the powerful ANC executive committee.
- Hosted the South African version of the TV reality programme ‘The Apprentice’.
- Appointed to the cabinet of new South African President Jacob Zuma in 2009 as Minister of Human Settlement but removed in a reshuffle after he challenged for the leadership of the party.
- Served as a member of the board of the South Africa 2010 World Cup Organising Committee after which Sepp Blatter invited him to serve on various FIFA committees, including working as the chief envoy on the Task Force attempting to settle footballing issues between Israel and Palestine.
- Sexwale's FIFA election manifesto:
- His manifesto does not tackle anti-corruption issues but rather seeks more places at future World Cups for Africa and seeks to allow national FAs to make more revenue by allowing sponsorship on national team jerseys.
- "After 112 years of its existence, FIFA needs to take a hard look, with sensitivity, at these imbalances – not in opposition to any grouping but in favour of football," he says.
- He also promises a personal touch if elected. “Every FA’s President will have direct tele-contact with myself. They need not bang the door to see their own FIFA President on very serious matters.”
- William Hill odds to win presidency: 66/1
- William Hill odds for the other candidates: 8/15 Sheikh Salman; 6/4 Gianni Infantino; 8/1 Prince Ali; 66/1 Jerome Champagne
(Editing by Andrew Heavens)