The party is over. Cosafa competitions will no longer be all-expenses-paid-for as the regional football governing body has introduced a $75 000 (about K56 million) annual contribution for each member association.
The decision is in response to lack of sponsorship for Cosafa’s eight competitions—the Cosafa Cup (men’s), Cosafa Women’s Cup, Under-20 (men’s and women’s), Under-17 (men and women’s), fustal and beach soccer.
A letter from Cosafa president Phillip Chiyangwa to member associations dated August 13, states that the regional football governing body asked for Covid-19 relief funds from Fifa, but it was rebuffed.
Reads the letter in part: “In April when we received the news that Fifa was establishing a Covid-19 Relief Plan that would be rolled out to assist national associations and confederations, Cosafa seized the opportunity to address a letter to Fifa and CAF, requesting that the zonal unions be similarly considered for this relief funding.
“Sadly, we have been advised by Fifa that the zonal unions do not form part of their Covid-19 relief plan and that it is the responsibility of the confederation to support its zonal union’s operational expenses. Our requests to CAF have thus far gone unanswered.”
Hitherto, Cosafa competitions were all-paid-for and member associations only had to foot travel expenses to the tournaments.
But with sponsorship towards the tournaments dwindling, the regional governing body has asked members to start contributing $75 000 for competitions in addition to the annual $20 000 (K15 million) membership fee which is up from $15 000.
For this year’s Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup, which will be played in October, Cosafa has asked each member association to pay $35 000 (about K26 million).
Cosafa deputy chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda confirmed the development, saying all member associations agreed with the resolution.
“This proposal on contributions was adopted and accepted by members associations at the general assembly. The letter sent to FAs this week was to remind them,” he said.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) general secretary Alfred Gunda said the association’s executive committee will meet to discuss the issue.
“We indeed got the letter from Cosafa on the contributions for competitions. The issue will be tabled at the executive committee which will come up with a decision,” he said.
But Soccer analyst Charles Nyirenda said Cosafa is justified to ask for contributions, considering that it has not received Covid-19 relief funds.
“The member associations have received K1.1 billion from Fifa to help them overcome the economic effects of Covid-19. Let them use that money to pay the contribution,” he said.