South African FA turns back on hosting Cosafa tournaments saying other nations must now step up

April 24 – The South African FA has said it no longer wants to hold tournaments organised by its regional confederation, the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa), saying that the events drain government resources and harm the South African Football Association’s (SAFA) access to funding. 

In a statement, SAFA said that “several tournaments have been hosted by Cosafa in South Africa over the past few years, instead of rotating and hosting them in the other member countries in the region, and this has had an adverse on SAFA’s own programmes in the Provinces.”

South Africa has hosted the last five editions of the Cosafa Cup, but the regional body counts 14 members. The South Africans say that staging Cosafa tournaments diverts government money for national team football, while local municipalities are also often called on to cover tournament expenses.

“We are saying, let us not be burdened with tournaments which we have not bid for because at some point, they go against our own priorities as the Association,” said SAFA CEO Tebogo Motlanthe.

“When you go to different government departments they say their budgets have been spent on Cosafa tournaments because that is classified as football. So the NEC has taken a firm decision that we must write to them to say we have hosted as a country and it is enough, give others a chance.”

“We don’t want to be portrayed as a greedy country, which wants everything. And we believe that there is capacity within the zone to host. Like I said previously, Botswana and Namibia are bidding to host the AFCON, so there is no way they cannot be able to host a tournament of Cosafa’s magnitude.”

Namibia has withdrawn from the bid AFCON bid, but the latest development will be a concern for new Cosafa president Artur Almeida e Silva.

The South Africans however will press ahead with a bid of their own – for the 2027 Women’s World Cup for which SAFA has received government backing. They are up against bids from Brazil, a joint United States and Canada bid, and a combined Belgium, Germany and Netherlands bid.

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