Zambia: SCSA, Cosafa Clash Over Games Hosting

THE Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) and Council of African Football Associations (COSAFA) have differed on the hosting of the boys' Under-17 and women Under-20 football championships during the Zone Six Games to be held next month in Lusaka.

While COSAFA released a statement that it would be in charge of organising the Under-17 boys and women Under-20 soccer championship, SCSA Zonal Organising Committee (ZOC) general manager Stanley Mtoya said no such agreement was reached on the matter.

COSAFA, in a statement released on October 30, said that it would organise an 11-team national Under-17 championship and a five-team women's Under-20 competition to be held in Lusaka from December 4-17.

COSAFA chief operations officer Sue Destombes said these would form part of the Zone Six Games, but would also be run as the COSAFA regional championships.

"In the past, the bi-annual SCSA Zone VI Games have clashed with and impacted on the COSAFA Under-20 men's competition which has been an annual event.

"For this reason, COSAFA held talks with SCSA Zone VI leadership and reached an agreement that the men's football element of the bi-annual Games will be played at Under-17 level, whereas the women's competition remains at Under-20. Furthermore, COSAFA will be responsible for the organisation of football during the Games," Destombes said.

But Mtoya said SCSA was not aware of COSAFA's move to host the competition under the SCSA Zone Six Games as no agreement was reached between the two parties.

He said the SCSA Zone Six Games were not COSAFA's but games organised by the African sports body, adding that mere inclusion to work with all regional confederations did not amount to them claiming the competition as theirs.

"These are SCSA Zone Six Youth Games and not COSAFA games; we are working with all the regional confederations, COSAFA included, but that does not mean they are COSAFA games. No, these are SCSA Zonal games," Mtoya said.

And Mtoya said draws for the team sports would be conducted on Saturday, adding that the committee would also have a final tour of the facilities with the participating confederations to make sure the mother bodies of the sports disciplines were satisfied with the standards.

He said ZOC would also today conduct a sports medicine and doping workshop after which the zonal committee would have a final meeting with the Local Organising Committee where a report would be tabled from various local sub-committees.

Mtoya said the meeting would be on how far the country had gone in terms of being prepared and in making sure it hosts successful youth games.

He said ZOC would on Saturday have a meeting with the chef de mission from all the 10 participating countries so that they could give their preparatory reports on their countries and teams.

Mtoya said ZOC was impressed with the level of preparedness by Zambia looking at the infrastructure and work done so far.

He said the committee was convinced that Zambia was ready for the games and that the facilities would be ready for the games.

"We appreciate the level of infrastructure we have seen and we are happy with the progress made.

"There is no need to be worried as we are hopeful the facilities will be completed before the games and Zambia will be ready to host successful games," Mtoya said.

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