Bots, Namibia take bid to COSAFA

Potential host: The National Stadium PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Potential host: The National Stadium PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Botswana and Namibia sports ministers have been given a platform to brief the region's football associations on plans to co-host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals when they address this weekend’s COSAFA Annual General Meeting in Windhoek.

The elective AGM will see the regional soccer body elect a new committee, with the president, Philip Chiyangwa from Zimbabwe, not seeking re-election. Chiyangwa was elected unopposed replacing Suketu Patel in 2016. Angola’s Artur Almeida e Silva is set to become the new COSAFA president as he is unopposed after the close of nominations on April 11. COSAFA was due to hold its AGM in December but the meeting was postponed amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the region driven by the Omicron variant. COSAFA holds its meeting at a time when Botswana and Namibia have upped the ante in their bid to host the 2027 AFCON finals. The two neighbours want to present a joint bid to convince CAF to bring the tournament’s finals to southern Africa. If successful, Botswana and Namibia will become only the third and fourth southern African nations to host the competition in its 65-year history. South Africa and Angola are the only other southern African countries to ever host the biennial competition. Botswana Football Association president, Maclean Letshwiti and chief executive officer, Mfolo Mfolo will attend the COSAFA meeting. Mfolo said the Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport, and Culture Tumiso Rakgare and his Namibian counterpart, Agnes Tjongarero will address the COSAFA AGM on the AFCON finals bid.

“Both ministers from Botswana and Namibia will have a slot to address the COSAFA meeting,” Mfolo said yesterday.

Work is at an advanced stage to put together the bid document, but the two countries could see costs escalate, particularly Namibia, which lags in the required infrastructure to host the competition. Botswana already has three stadiums with a capacity of more than 20,000, but a new facility might have to be constructed. Botswana takes the lion’s share in a 60-40% hosting arrangement with Namibia. Eight countries have expressed interest to host the 2027 edition, with Mauritania, Senegal, and the Gambia also plotting a joint bid. Other countries are Algeria, Burkina Faso, and Morocco. The Botswana-Namibia bid could appeal to CAF, which wants to spread the hosting across the continent.

CAF president, Patrice Motsepe was recently in Gaborone where he expressed support for Botswana and Namibia’s intentions to host the continent’s flagship competition.

Meanwhile, the COSAFA elections will see Comoros Football Federation president, Said Ali Said Athouman unopposed for the position of vice president. There will be a heated contest for the five positions of the ordinary member as eight names are on the ballot paper. One of the ordinary members of the executive must be a woman. The three, Solandranja Mahamatova (Madagascar), Anastasia Tsichlas (South Africa), and Brenda Kunda (Zambia) are the female candidates in the ordinary member’s contest.

The candidates

President: Artur Almeida e Silva (Angola);

Vice president: Said Ali Said Athouman (Comoros);

Ordinary EXCO members: Timothy Shongwe (Eswatini), Khiba Mohoanyane (Lesotho), Andrianony Victorien (Madagascar), Walter Nyamilandu-Mandu (Malawi), Faizal Sidat (Mozambique), Solandranja Mahamatova (Madagascar), Anastasia Tsichlas (South Africa), and Brenda Kundaa (Zambia)

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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