21 April 2023 – The South African Football Association’s (SAFA) National Executive Committee (NEC) has resolved that COSAFA is in breach of its statutes and the Association will no longer allow the regional body to host its events in the country until further notice.

Several tournaments have been hosted by COSAFA in South Africa over the past few years, instead of rotating and hosting them in the other member countries in the region, and this has had an adverse on SAFA’s own programmes in the Provinces.

A SAFA NEC meeting was held at Emperor’s Palace on Friday (21 April 2023) and SAFA CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe said it was resolved that the Association’s view will be spelt out to COSAFA in a gathering to be held in the coming days.   

“We further elaborated on the relationship with COSAFA and the decision was taken (by the NEC) that we must write to COSAFA and advise that the NEC is of the view that they are in breach of their own statutes,” the SAFA CEO said.

“We have not been bidding for these COSAFA tournaments, but they’ve been happening here in South Africa.”

Adv Motlanthe said SAFA’s own plans have been affected by these COSAFA tournaments and the Association wants to have a conversation about this.

“We are saying, let us not be burdened with tournaments which we have not bid for because at some point, they go against our own priorities as the Association. When you go to different government departments they say their budgets have been spent on COSAFA tournaments because that is classified as football. So the NEC has taken a firm decision that we must write to them to say we have hosted as a country and it is enough, give others a chance.

“We don’t want to be portrayed as a greedy country, which wants everything. And we believe that there is capacity within the zone to host. Like I said previously, Botswana and Namibia are bidding to host the AFCON, so there is no way they cannot be able to host a tournament of COSAFA’s magnitude. So that was the major decision which was taken by this NEC.”

Adv Motlanthe also revealed that the NEC has mandated him and SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan to step up South Africa’s interest in hosting the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“Of course, the NEC has requested that we strengthen South Africa’s bid to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup and to also look for the person who will be the face of the bid,” he said.

“This mandate has been given to me and the President to identify the face of the bid. It must be a woman because we are talking about the FIFA Women’s World Cup. So we will sit down and profile what kind of a person do we want to lead to the bid. We are looking at having women playing a major role in the bid. I think those were the main issues that were discussed today.”

South Africa has expressed an interest in hosting the global tournament and is bidding to join the United States of America, Germany and France as the only countries to have hosted both the men’s and the women’s FIFA World Cup. 

South Africa’s interest in hosting the tournament received a boost after government expressed its support for SAFA’s plans a few months ago.

Former Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa sent a letter to the SAFA President a few months ago saying the department is proud to support the Association’s expression of interest to bid to host the global showpiece.

The government’s support came on the back of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) giving Dr Jordaan a letter of support for the bid in October last year.