Infighting and mistrust are tearing the 2010 Local Organising Committee apart, the Sunday Times reported.

Key players in the LOC — tasked with organising Africa’s first Fifa Soccer World Cup — were barely talking to each other, while chief executive Danny Jordaan has been labelled a “control freak”, the newspaper said.

Quoting an unidentified official, it revealed that media personality Tim Modise, appointed chief communications and marketing officer, was on the brink of leaving the company last week.

LOC chairperson Irvin Khoza and Jordan are said to humour each other for the sake of the cameras when in public, but behind the scenes there was bad blood affecting the functioning of the LOC.

The “well-placed source”, as referred to by the paper, said on Friday there was “mistrust” between the two men who were constantly second-guessing each other.

Khoza was this week reportedly said to be gleaning his information about the deteriorating situation from other executives rather than Jordaan himself.

Fears are growing in soccer circles that although infrastructure projects will be completed in time, Fifa will lose confidence in SA’s ability to run in the event and simply parachute in its own people to take over.

The paper said Fifa boss Sepp Blatter was forced to intervene to repair Khoza and Jordaan’s relationship.

It has also been established that Jordaan was so fed up with Modise that he went as far as offering his job to other people.

Both men reportedly denied knowledge of this on Friday, but several “well-placed executives” in the organisation have independently provided the details.

“His post would be divided into marketing and communications. They have been trying to get [African football guru] Mark Gleeson to head communications and Ian Riley for marketing,” the source said.

PUBLICATION: Mail & Guardian
DATED: 17th February 2008