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Fifa to boost Cosafa

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As Zimbabwe’s quest to host the Cosafa Women championships starting on Saturday take an interesting turn, Fifa has pledged financial support to assist towards the hosting of the tournament.

Francesco Bruscoli, a Fifa senior manager responsible for Development Programmes in Africa, said the world football mother body would cater for some of the expenses related to the organisation of the tournament.

“As you are aware, Fifa will support the Cosafa WF competition in Zimbabwe. In order for Fifa to proceed with the financial support, we would need a letter from the Zimbabwe federation stating that they are organising the tournament, the Ministry of Tourism is in charge of the organisation of the booking and accommodation and they authorise Fifa to pay the Ministry of Tourism for expenses related to the organisation of the tournament. As you might understand, the letter is urgent and we would need it by today (Wednesday),” read part of the email which was sent to Cosafa secretary-general Ashford Mamelodi and copied to Zifa

The financial help from Fifa will come handy to cash-strapped Zifa who only got a
$150 000 grant from Cosafa for the tournament, but the country’s football mother body said they needed at least $350 000 to host a successful tournament.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has already confirmed they will provide for accommodation for all visiting teams.

Meanwhile, a 25-member Botswana women’s national team jetted into the country yesterday afternoon ahead of the tournament.

The other six teams, South Africa, Zambia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania, are expected in the country today. Botswana coach Patrick Kowa revealed his youthful squad did not have the best of preparations as they only regrouped last week, but was still bullish.

“All players except three are Under-23 so I have a relatively young team. They have a very good fighting spirit and we hope to go back to Botswana with the trophy. The preparations could have been better, we had players who joined camp late because their clubs were refusing to release them, but still we are prepared to fight,” said Kowa.

Botswana are in Group B where they will face defending champions and favourites South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania.

Two teams from the two groups will advance to the semi-final stage.

Hosts Zimbabwe are in Group A with Lesotho, Mozambique and Malawi.

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