ZIMBABWE has shown a keen interest in hosting this year’s edition of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) senior men’s tournament, whose dates have been set for May 19 to June 1 this year.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Cosafa secretary-general Sue Destombes revealed yesterday that the organisation’s president Philip Chiyangwa, who is a former Zifa boss, is determined to have the tournament staged in Zimbabwe.
Yesterday, the Cosafa leadership held meetings with the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), where the matter was discussed, but not finalised.
Destombes said they were looking to have a big edition this year and that they thought Zimbabwe could provide one, considering the multitudes of fans that watched the women’s edition that was hosted in Bulawayo in 2017.
“In discussion on where we wanted to have Cosafa tournament this year, the president (Chiyangwa) was determined for it to be in Zimbabwe. The 2017 Cosafa women’s tournament was the biggest we have had so far and it was successful,” she said.
“We had a full house at Barbourfields Stadium and the crowd can be compared to the one that watched (the) FC Platinum and Orlando Pirates (match), so we know we can have a very big tournament here.
“Zimbabwe has infrastructure, that is the stadia, hotels, training grounds and it’s a football-loving nation, so why not?”
Destombes added that the teams that would have qualified for the African Cup of Nations finals stood to benefit from the Cosafa tournament.
“We had a good meeting with SRC and they discussed with the (Sports) minister and while there are a few things that have to be sorted, we are confident that the tournament will be played here from May 19 to June 1,” she said.
“The timing is strategic as Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] starts on June 15 and we will have a two-week window. We hope we have more teams at Afcon from the Cosafa region so that we have a good representation.”