Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
PLANS for the successful staging of the 2019 COSAFA Cup by Zimbabwe appear on course, with Sport and Recreation Commission director-general, Prince Mupazviriho, yesterday confirming he had since received the agreement between ZIFA and the regional football body.
Mupazviriho said the Sports Commission were now going through the agreement with a view to securing the necessary government guarantee.
COSAFA are keen to make this year’s edition scheduled for May 19 to June 1, which will come just weeks before the African Cup of Nations finals, the biggest ever COSAFA Cup.
There are strong indications that it could grow into a 16-team tournament.
The COSAFA leadership also believe that the tournament provides a perfect platform for Zimbabwe to not only showcase the football talent in Southern Africa but market itself as a safe tourist destination.
Mupazviriho said although they had noted a procedural oversight on the part of ZIFA in the manner they had initially gone about their bid to host the tournament, they were now working on rectifying the matter and was hopeful that by next week “all would be in order’’.
“What happens is when an association, which is either sporting or recreation, wants to host they would naturally, before they even commit themselves, write to SRC saying we would want to host,’’ he said.
“Can we bid to host, which would also indicate what exactly they would expect from the responsible authority which represents government, which is SRC.
“So, when we are satisfied that they can host and as a country we are able to manage the whole process, we would then give them the green-light to bid to host.
“By giving them the green-light it means we are also saying we will be able to support you. Unfortunately, in this instance, that did not happen.’’
Mupazviriho said they would probably have a clear picture in a week’s time.
‘’We are here now to regularise, to correct those things so that everything is done properly, so that if we are to host we then host with everything running smoothly. That’s where we are now.
“After a week we would see how far our processes would have gone. But what I can confirm is they have now submitted the document, their agreement with COSAFA, which they brought in yesterday.
“Our role is to facilitate. Remember we are here to develop sport, so our role is to facilitate,” said Mupazviriho.