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World Cup frontman accuses rival of smear

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-06-25 14:10:49

JOHANNESBURG: Tensions between the World Cup`s two top local officials erupted into the open on Friday when the organising committee`s chief executive accused the chairman of waging a war against him.


After the Mail and Guardian news weekly reported his brother was cashing in on the World Cup through a hospitality contract, chief executive Danny Jordaan accused chairman Irvin Khoza of instigating a "malicious" smear campaign.
"I know about the war he (Khoza) said was coming after the World Cup. This campaign is against me and how I cannot run or handle this event," Jordaan told the newspaper.


"I know why so many questions are being asked about my brother. This issue has nothing to do with him.


"I have never in my 17 years in football taken any money from anyone. All I have is my name and I will not have it tarnished for malicious reasons -- not after I fought so hard for this country."


Jordaan and Khoza, who is chairman of South Africa`s Premier Soccer League and the owner of the Johannesburg-based Orlando Pirates football team, have long had a fraught relationship.


Khoza denied accusations this year that he was plotting a coup against the leadership of the South African Football Association (SAFA) which is seen as Jordaan`s power base.


He was not immediately available for comment on Jordaan`s allegations of a smear campaign.


Khoza failed last year in a bid to become SAFA president. Jordaan is still technically the SAFA chief executive, although he has been working full-time on the World Cup for several years.


The dispute between them was an embarrassing distraction for tournament organisers as the opening round came to an end.


Brazil and Portugal both qualified after playing out in a goalless draw, meaning the Ivory Coast became the fifth of the six African teams to be eliminated despite beating North Korea 3-0.


Spain, the bookmakers favourites along with Brazil, would also secure qualification with victory over Chile in the late match.


With Italy and France already out of the tournament, much of Europe`s hopes are pinned on three-times champions Germany and England, another former winner, but only one can make it through to the quarter-finals.


After scraping through to the last 16 on Wednesday, the two are now scheduled to face off in the central town of Bloemfontein on Sunday.


The match will be one of the most heavily policed of the tournament with previous fixtures having attracted large numbers of hooligans.


The last time the pair met in a major competition a decade ago during the European championships in Belgium, the streets of Charleroi were reduced to a battle zone as more than 500 fans were arrested during two days of violence.
Tournament organisers say they have been in close contact with the German and English police and are not expecting any trouble in Bloemfontein.


"We are working closely with the German and English police, but we are sure everything is going to be okay," organising committee spokesman Jermaine Craig said.


"The security measures are in place, and we are confident everything will go okay, so far this World Cup has been very peaceful."


A World Cup court adjourned a trespass case against an England fan arrested for entering the team changing room and lecturing David Beckham on the squad`s performance in last Friday`s 0-0 draw against Algeria.


Magistrate Aziz Hamied extended Pavlos Joseph`s bail and put off the matter until Wednesday to give the defence time to raise new issues with prosecutors, which could lead to the dropping of charges.


BDST: 2315hrs, June 25, 2010
SA

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