Dr Phillip Chiyangwa column – July 2017

We are delighted to be currently hosting the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup in South Africa’s North West province and look forqard to the potential of more pan-African tournaments being played in our region.

Since its inception in 1997, the COSAFA Castle Cup has continued to provide the platform for many talented players in the 14-member member block to take their football careers to another level.

Southern Africa is the most active region under the Confederation of African Football providing a competitive platform for two age groups teams – the Under-17 and the Under-20 as well as the COSAFA Women’s tournament.

Of the four tournaments run by COSAFA, it is the Castle Cup which is the flagship tournament as evidenced by the viewership across the continent and the interest it generates in member countries.

I have recently returned from a fact-finding mission to various countries in the Southern African region, which proved very fruitful.
As the new leadership in COSAFA, it is important to establish the situation on the ground at each member association, explore the areas they are strong at and where they need assistance.

Infrastructure development is also very important in the region and during this tour I have been emphasizing on the need to build or improve existing infrastructure and mobile COSAFA countries to take a keener interest in hosting various regional and CAF competitions.

When one looks at how successful the CAF Under-20 Championship that was hosted in Zambia and the developments held in that country, one can see that apart from South Africa and Angola, who hosted the 2010 AFCON, the region is ready to have another host of the competition.

It doesn’t have to be always about West and North Africa, particularly West Africa, it has to be shared across all of Africa. Spreading the AFCON across all regions brings more excitement and zeal to the tournament.

Yours in football,

Dr Phillip Chiyangwa