Cosafa annual general meeting |29 May 2023
Suketu Patel becomes Cosafa honorary president
The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations has bestowed former Seychelles Football Federation president Suketu Patel with the title of Cosafa honorary president.
This took place in Johannesburg on Friday during the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations’ (Cosafa) successful annual general meeting (AGM) where Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Dr Patrice Motsepe addressed delegates from 12 of the 14 member countries present.
Mr Patel received the honour for his contribution towards the development of football on the African continent both as a former Caf vice-president and president of Cosafa from 2006 to 2016.
Seychelles Football Federation vice-president Dolor Ernesta received the award for Mr Patel from the hands of Zambian Breda Kunda, chairperson of the Cosafa women’s committee in the presence of Dr Motsepe and Cosafa president Artur Almeida de Silva.
Mr Ernesta was representing the SFF at the AGM along with the general secretary and chief executive Denis Rose.
He thanked Cosafa for this recognition and said it was an honour for him to receive the award on behalf of Mr Patel.
Dr Phillip Chiyangwa, who took the helm from Mr Patel as Cosafa president from 2017 to 2021, was also bestowed with the title of honorary president.
Salemane Phafane from Lesotho and Adam Mthethwa from Eswatini were awarded honorary vice-president status, while Ashford Mamelodi of Botswana was named as an honorary secretary general.
The AGM heard that Cosafa was in a strong financial position and would be hosting seven tournaments this year.
Dr Motsepe praised the work that is being done in the Cosafa region to improve the game but urged more partnership between governments and football associations in Southern Africa to invest in football.
“We must tell the political leadership in the country that they should support football, and they should be proud also. There are times when we must talk nicely and make plans, but there are times also where we need to implement and get results,” he said.
Cosafa president Almeida de Silva revealed that Cosafa had signed an agreement with Caf to introduce the video assistant referee (VAR) system in the region.
He urged all Cosafa member countries to encourage their selected referees to take their VAR training seriously to contribute towards the improvement of football in the region and to be chosen for international matches both on the African continent and the world.
“The key for our growth in African football is to train our people and we need to focus on this. We have signed an agreement with Caf to implement VAR and we are most excited about this,” Almeida de Silva said.
The Cosafa AGM also unanimously and officially endorsed Botswana Football Association’s 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) bid, as well as South Africa’s bid to host the Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2027.