Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) has introduced participation fees for its three competitions, the Cosafa Cup, Women’s Champions League and Futsal championships.
For the Cosafa Cup, participating countries will pay US$20 000, while in the inaugural Women’s Champions League and Futsal, participation fee is US$10 000.
The participation fees were approved by all member associations at the Cosafa general assembly held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in January, according to Cosafa secretary-general Sue Destombe.
“The participation fees will be used to fund organising the Cosafa Cup and Futsal tournaments, which are not covered by development funds from the Confederation of African Football (Caf). The Women’s Champions League is partly covered by development funds, but it’s not enough to stage the event without additional financial support,” Destombe said in a statement yesterday.
Participation fees were introduced after the bloc failed to get sponsorship for its competitions as the corporate world is struggling to stay afloat due to Covid-19.
However, Cosafa said once a sponsor is found, the fees will not be levied, while those that would have already paid will be refunded.
“Our member associations are of the view that the benefits to the development of players, coaches and referees through Cosafa events outweigh the cost of the participation fees. In these challenging economic times brought about by Covid-19, we have not managed to secure a sponsor for these three competitions yet. Should a sponsor(s) be signed and the revenue sufficient to cover the costs of the events, the participation fees will not be levied, or if already paid, will be refunded.
“The Cosafa leadership remains committed to finding sponsors for all our tournaments and is in constant engagement with potential partners, but we must also recognise the challenge Covid-19 has caused to many sectors across the region,” said Cosafa.
The organisation’s application to Fifa for Covid-19 relief funds was not successful since Cosafa is not a direct member of Fifa.