Time is running out for Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) to host all six competitions lined up for 2020 within the remaining six months of the year.
Failure to hold the competitions—whose calendar has been disrupted by the coronavirus—will result in breach of contracts with other stakeholders, including television production firms which Cosafa has agreements with.
In an interview, Cosafa deputy chief executive officer (CEO) Suzgo Nyirenda, who is responsible for competitions, said it is becoming tough to hold the competitions with each passing day.
He said: “The [Covid-19] pandemic has caused a serious change in the tournaments calendar but we are hopeful that once football starts in the region, then a way will be found. It will not be easy but we are ready to organise all the tournaments with the remainder of the year.
Nyirenda said failure to hold the competitions will cost the regional football governing body a lot.
“We have obligations to fulfil, especially with broadcasting partners and there are consequences as per contract for failure to fulfil,” he said.
But the deputy CEO said even after the pandemic is under control, Cosafa and the host nations will struggle to get sponsors.
“We will need to get reconfirmation from all hosting FAs [football associations] and it is not easy considering that governments are now putting more support to the pandemic and that affects the game. Sponsors are affected and it is now difficult to find willing partners and sponsors,” said Nyirenda, a Malawian.
Malawi is expected to host the Under-17 Cosafa Championship which is also a qualifier for the CAF Under-17 Afcon.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has insisted that it will proceed to host the event. However, government is yet to confirm is funds will be available in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are still keen to host the Cosafa Under-17. It is very unlikely that the Cosafa Unsder-17 will be held in July as the calendar is bound to change locally and internationally.
“We will have to submit a new budget for the new fiscal year starting July 1 based on the revised programme of activities,” said FAM president Walter Nyamilandu.