UNCERTAINTY surrounds the hosting of the 2015 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Under-20 championship scheduled to kick off on December 1 in Zambia owing to lack of funds.
Zambia was early this year awarded the rights to host the 2015 regional youth soccer tournament after Lesotho successfully staged the 2013 edition.
However, with just about two months remaining before the tournament kicks off, COSAFA is struggling to secure funds towards hosting the competition.
COSAFA Chief Operations Officer Sue Destombes said in an interview yesterday from South Africa that fundraising for the tournament hit a glitch after the Zambian Government indicated that it had no resources to fund the competition.
“We had a meeting with Zambia’s Minister of Sports (Vincent Mwale) in July to see if we can get their support for the hosting of this tournament and the Government is willing to support us in material form.
The only problem is that this tournament was not budgeted for by the Zambian Ministry of Sports because the 2015 national budget was done last year, way before Zambia was awarded the rights to host the tournament,” Destombes said.
Destombes said it was too late for COSAFA to start looking for an alternative host country because there was little time remaining and that the regional body was making joint efforts with the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to source for funds.
She said should the fundraising efforts prove futile, the tournament would not take off this year and that Zambia would not attract any sanctions for failing to host the tournament that rotates across the region.
“At the moment, COSAFA is making frantic efforts in trying to look for funds since we are guaranteed of material support from the Government and we only hope for the best,” she said.