A cloud of uncertainty hangs over the revived Cosafa Castle Cup prize money in the countdown to the regional showpiece to be staged in Zambia.
According to media reports in South Africa, where the Cosafa secreteriat is based, South Africa Football Association [Safa] has agreed not to take part in the tournament because, among other things, there is no provision for prize money.
One of South Africa’s leading dailies, The Sowetan, reported: “Safa top brass decided to forego the tournament this year due to financial constraints as the tournament does not offer prize money.”
The paper also quoted a Safa official as saying it will be difficult to get the players at that time because the tournament will be played outside Fifa calendar dates.
According to the report, Cosafa will only foot costs for accommodation, food and local transport for the participating teams.
Safa president Kirsten Namatandani confirmed that there are several factors they are looking into before deciding on whether Bafana Bafana should participate in the regional tournament, but he could not be drawn to confirm whether prize money is one of them.
However, FAM president Walter Nyamilandu who is also an executive member of Cosafa, said with or without prize money, the Flames will take part in the tournament.
“I think if that is the course that our friends in South Africa have taken, then they are missing the plot.
“The intention is to prepare, it is not about prize money. The motive of the tournament is exposure of the players and being able to build a team for the future,” said Nyamilandu.
He suggested that Safa leadership is reluctant to take part in the tournament because they feel Cosafa members did not support their candidate Danny Jordan when he contested for CAF executive committee membership recently.
Apparently, Jordan is also the vice-president of Safa.
“They [Safa] are doing that for political reasons because Jordan did not win at CAF. Nevertheless, with or without prize money, our position is that we will take part in the tournament,” said Nyamilandu.
Cosafa chief executive officer Sue Destombes said in a telephone interview from Johannesburg on Wednesday.
“The issue of prize money is still under discussion with the sponsor, that is all I can say for now.”