“I’ve just finished my venue trainings and now await the arrival of the general coordinators.”
This was a message I received from Windsor John Paul on May 29th, 2010 from Johannesburg in South Africa which will play host to earth’s biggest sports spectacle – the WORLD CUP.
From ‘out of favour’ to being the ‘most needed’ official in the preparation and operation of all the ten venues. Early this year Windsor’s name disappeared from the FIFA General Coordinators list.
In September 2009, Windsor surprised everyone by resigning as FIFA’s Development Officer handling the larger part of the Asian region but was still considered as the ‘best’ and most experienced General Coordinator for South Africa.
Than ‘out of the blues’ his name disappeared from the General Coordinators list but Windsor was not perturbed nor was he disappointed by this development.
He took it in his stride when he told me: “I’m just a football administrator and can be replaced.” In early March, when I was having a ‘cuppa tea’ with Windsor in Petaling Jaya, he received a mobile call. For nearly 40 minutes he was in intense conversation.
“FIFA have asked me to be involved in the World Cup but I don’t know under what capacity,” Windsor told me.
But I believe that with the World Cup looming so close, there were things not going well in South Africa and they urgently needed someone with vast “venue” experience to put things right.
And the call to get Windsor John Paul to do the job would have come from none other than Joseph Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president.
To date he has conducted venue staff training for Soccercity, Nelspruit, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Polokwane, and a training just for all venue managers. The final two workshops for ten general coordinators and 14 deputy general coordinators will be conducted in the next few days.
He has the unique job of monitoring all the general coordinators involved in the 64 World Cup matches and will assist the venues for high risk matches.
He’s been traveling the length and breadth of South Africa, hopping from one venue to the other, watching test matches and overseeing operations. He has a huge responsibility and FIFA knows that they have the right man in South Africa.
JaiHo would like to wish Windsor, and the other Malaysians in South Africa, Dato Dell Akbar Khan (security), Datuk Dr. Gurucharan Singh (medical) and Cikgu Sukhiddin (referee) all the best.