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FA must build bridges - Jordaan

South African chief executive urges FA to play part in new Fifa

Last Updated: 07/06/11 10:11am

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FA must build bridges - Jordaan

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South Africa's Danny Jordaan has told his Football Association counterparts they must build bridges with Fifa.

The FA expressed its concerns over the bidding process for the 2018 World Cup after losing out to Russia and subsequently voiced corruption claims against executive members of the world's governing body.

Then last week they were unsuccessful in calling for Fifa's presidential election to be postponed after Mohammed bin Hammam withdrew, leaving Sepp Blatter as the only candidate, and the English representatives abstained from voting as Blatter was handed a fourth and final term.

Jordaan, chief executive of the South African FA, admitted there is a perception that the English are arrogant.

But he believes they must play a part as Fifa plan to implement some of the changes the FA pressed for last week, making the body more transparent and their members more accountable.

Asked if they can build bridges with Fifa and Blatter, Jordaan told Sky Sports News: "They have to because in this period, it's also a transition period for Fifa.

New direction

"Everyone was talking about the need for changes inside Fifa so they must contribute. Everyone who wants to see a different direction for global football must be a participant otherwise you can't help shape.

"So, yes, I think they should roll up their sleeves and participate."

After the presidential election, the FA faced strong criticism from some Fifa members for their actions leading up to the vote.

And although Jordaan feels they were entitled to express their views, he believes that in future they may have to think more about what that might do to their image and reputation.

"I think it's a common view that the English are arrogant, but I don't agree with that view," he said.

Strong beliefs

"If people are strong in their beliefs and their views, and they're ready to express it, we must not therefore conclude that they are arrogant. But it's important because perception, unchallenged, becomes reality, and I think that's where the engagement of the England FA officials becomes important.

"Democracy includes the right to vote but also the right not to vote so if any country decides to abstain, that's part of their democratic right," Jordaan added.

"And it's in the Fifa constitution so you cannot take offence if a member exercises its democratic right. Whether that was the best move for England, that's a separate matter."

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