While the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) is planning to bid for the rights to host next year’s Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Senior Challenge Cup, Zimbabwe has already submitted an official bid.
Malawi Secretary General Alfred Gunda has expressed a desire host the annual event but according to COSAFA CEO Sue Destombes, only Zimbabwe has expressed a desire to be the next hosts of the tournament.
“Such tournaments (COSAFA) have the ability to popularize football in the hosting country,” said Gunda. “The other advantages are that our local football officials could learn a lot about organizational capabilities which is fundamental in football development.
“There are a lot of opportunities apart from the television revenue. The country’s hospitality sector also stands to benefit from hosting major events and the COSAFA is an ideal event to test our abilities before we can event think of staging the AFCON.”
Gunda attributed the failure to bid for hosting rights to lack of money and poor infrastructure, even though the construction of the Bingu National Stadium has given most inhabitants of the Warm Heart of Africa renewed hope.
“We can’t be lagging behind when other countries within the region are ably hosting the competitions. We are assessing the situation and we are finalizing a few issues to bid for the right to host the competition,” Gunda added.
“We are gathering information and we will come up with a comprehensive proposal which we will submit to government. If it is approved, then we will start the full-fledged preparations,” he said.
But the Malawians need to move with the speed of sound of they hope to secure the rights to host the tournament as Destombes revealed that the organization has received Zimbabwe’s bid and were just waiting for certain government guarantees.
“If we receive guarantees from the Zimbabwe government within the specified period, we will certainly award Zimbabwe the rights because so far, they are the only country that has shown an interest in hosting the event,” added Destombes.