The Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) has finally cancelled this year’s 2014 COSAFA Cup as there is ‘no suitable sponsor’ for the tournament which was slated for November in Botswana.
The COSAFA Cup plays a crucial role in helping develop the national teams of member associations including the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
This year’s tournament could have been of huge benefit to Malawi national football team, particularly in their quest to qualify for 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
COSAFA President Suketu Patel said in a statement that they had formally sought approval of the South African Football Association (SAFA) for the tournament to be staged in their territory, at no cost to SAFA, but failed to receive the “requisite permission” from SAFA.
“It comes as a huge disappointment to the region as a commercial sponsor was in place for the 2014, 2016 and 2018 event, but their participation was contingent on the tournament being played in South Africa due to existing high standard of playing and broadcast infrastructure in the country.
“No one is more disappointed than I, but now we can only work even harder and look forward towards the hosting and sponsorship for the 2015 tournament,” says Patel.
After Zimbabwe withdrew their hosting of the 2014 event, Botswana was selected as the destination for the tournament, but a “short lead-time meant no suitable sponsor could be found for the event.”