Danny Jordaan…the Man who Prepared Africa

Like it or hate it, the vuvuzelas made a lasting impression and has come to be an element everyone interested in football will remember about ‘South Africa 2010’.

 But we cannot think about the world cup without remembering the chief organizer Mr. Danny Jordaan. Since 2010, Mr Jordaan has been appreciated and praised for a magnifient World Cup competition which was historically the first ever organized in Africa by an African Nation. African Celebrities takes a brief look at the ptofile of the man who prepared Africa for the world cup.

His Greatest prize: The very successful organization of the first ever FIFA World Cup tournament in Africa (South Africa 2010).

Daniel Alexander “Danny” Jordaan was the FIFA World Cup 2010 Chief Organizer. He was born on September 3, 1951 in Port Elizabeth, on the southeast coast of South Africa to Maxine and Alexandre Jordaan. He is a South African sports administrator as well as a former lecturer, politician and anti-apartheid activist. He lead South Africa’s successful 2010 FIFA World Cup bid, the first successful one for Africa. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

He has served FIFA in numerous capacities, including, as a General Co-ordinator for the Youth World Cup (now FIFA U-20 World Cup), 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan. He was also a match commissioner for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and a member of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee. He currently serves on the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee and 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup Organizing Committee. As well as his involvement in football, Jordaan is also a member of the International Marketing Council.

He became involved in anti-apartheid activities by joining the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO) in the early 1970s, an organisation founded by Steve Biko in order to defend the rights of black students. Later, Jordaan also became a member of the United Democratic Front and the African National Congress (ANC).

Following his studies, Jordaan became a teacher in 1974. From 1970 to 1983 he was a provincial cricket and football player. In the latter sport, he achieved professional status for a brief period. His political and sport interests soon combined and he became an activist in various organizations fighting to break down racial barriers in sport.

From 1983 to 1992 he served as the president or vice-president of various soccer boards. In 1993 he was appointed as a director of the Cape Town Olympic Bid Company.

His political career also progressed; in 1990 he was elected as the chairperson of the ANC branch in Port Elizabeth North. After the first fully inclusive South African elections in 1994, he became a member of parliament for the ANC under the newly elected Nelson Mandela, a position he held until 1997.

In 1997, he was elected as the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Football Association (SAFA). He subsequently headed South Africa’s unsuccessful 2006 FIFA World Cup bid, narrowly losing out to Germany but gaining great respect internationally for his work. As a consequence, he also led South Africa’s 2010 FIFA World Cup bid, this time successfully. Jordaan has served on the marketing and television board of FIFA since 1998.

Jordaan has a BA degree from the University of the Western Cape and an Honours degree from the University of South Africa. He received three honorary Doctorates from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Universtity (D.Phil), the University of South Africa (D. Admin), and one from his alma mater, the University of the Western Cape (D. Phil).

He received a special presidential award from President Nelson Mandela in 1994 as well as the presidential sport achievement award from President Thabo Mbeki in 2001. He won South Africa’s marketing person of the year award in 2000. In 2004, he was voted 44th in the Top 100 Great South Africans and newsmaker of the year. He received a mayoral award from the Mayor of Los Angeles, California on 24 October 2004. Jordaan has been given the freedom of the city of Maracaibo, Venezuela. He has also received numerous awards from other South African cities.