JOHANNESBURG - Danny Jordaan, the man responsible for organising a successful World Cup in South Africa, hopes to capitalise by following Michel Platini and Franz Beckenbauer onto FIFA's executive committee this week.
Jordaan is among six candidates for two African places on the 24-man committee, one of which has been left vacant following the suspension of the disgraced Amos Adamu, found guilty of bribery by FIFA's ethics committee last November.
Chief executive of South Africa's 2010 World Cup organising committee, Jordaan told Reuters he wanted to follow the path of Platini and Beckenbauer who also went from World Cup organisers to join FIFA's decision-making cabinet.
"Everyone in Africa has been praising us for the successful hosting of the World Cup and so in the tradition of Platini and Beckenbauer, it is logical we seek to bring that experience to the FIFA committee," Jordaan told Reuters in an interview.
Jordaan, a long-serving sports administrator and former South African member of Parliament, says he is under no illusions it will be a tough contest.
"I think its going to be tough and we have had to do a lot of ground work."
Platini was co-head of the organising committee for the 1998 World Cup in France and Beckenbauer was head of Germany's organising committee eight years later.
Incumbent Jacques Anouma of the Ivory Coast is up for re-election while other candidates come from Algeria, Nigeria, Seychelles and Zambia. The vote will take place during the Confederation of African Football (CAF) congress in Khartoum.
Jordaan has spent the last week backtracking from reported statements made about higher ambitions, including the leadership of African football.
The support for candidates of powerful and long-standing CAF president Issa Hayatou is expected to be influential in Wednesday's contest.
"I never said I was intending on standing for CAF president in the future. This is a story that has been blown out of proportion," Jordaan insisted.
Jordaan seeks to go straight to the FIFA executive committee without time spent on the CAF executive which has been the traditional route to Zurich for African soccer administrators.
His rivals Anouma, Mohamed Raouraoua of Algeria and Suketu Patel of Seychelles are existing members of CAF executive and favoured to dominate the voting.
Nigeria have been allowed to belatedly nominate their former football federation president Ibrahim Galadima in place of Adamu, who lost an appeal over his three-year ban from all football-related activities earlier this month.
Adamu was banned by FIFA's ethics committee after allegedly offering to sell his vote in the recent World Cup bidding campaign to Sunday Times reporters posing as lobbyists for an American consortium.comments