THE Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) is seeking alternative sponsorship deals to host this year’s edition of the 2014 Senior Men Challenge after Botswana pulled out of hosting the annual tournament.
Zambia were the last hosts in 2013, and the last winners after beating Zimbabwe 2-0 in the final at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, and it had been expected that the tournament, which had been off the calendar since 2009, would be held annually.
But after Botswana hosted the Africa Youth Games in May, they seem to have stretched their budgets to have the Cosafa games in September-at the same time when their national soccer team is playing in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Sources yesterday told NewsDay Sport that the 2015 edition will be likely to be hosted in South Africa.
“It’s likely it will be in South Africa in November since they are the Region Five Games as well in December.
“South Africa is the powerhouse of the region and most of the sponsors are domiciled there, so we hope that something will be announced in due course,” the sources said.
With Zimbabwe having been knocked out of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, the competition would have come in handy for a number of new players (Under-23) who will be used for the 2016 Olympic Games qualifiers early next year.
Cosafa was sponsored by Castle Lager, whose are owned by SABMiller, the South African brewing giant.
Cosafa was established by the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa — then Zone 6.
The Council of Ministers who oversee the region’s activities comprise all ministers from the 13 member countries with responsibilities for sports, with Zimbabwe being represented by the Minister of Sports Arts and Culture, Andrew Langa.
The 14-member countries of Cosafa are Angola, Botswana, Comores, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Associate Member Reunion.
Botswana was elected to host the secretariat of Cosafa. This has been the case since 1992 when Ismail Bhamjee was elected president of Cosafa and Ashford Mamelodi appointed secretary-general.
In 2008, it was decided to open an office – the administrative office – in Johannesburg, South Africa which is the hub of the region.
The administration of Cosafa is led by its chief operations officer, Sue Destombes and opened an office in Parktown, Johannesburg last year.
The new office in South Africa was opened by Caf president Issa Hayatou.