Later this month, the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) will convene a meeting to discuss changing the dates of regional competitions after the decision by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to move the Africa Cup of Nations tournament from its traditional January /February slot.
According to a recent CAF resolution the AFCON finals will now be held between June and July, effective as from the 2019 tournament to be hosted by Cameroon.
The decision by CAF to change the AFCON dates will also affect the FIFA Confederations Cup that is played a year before the start of the World Cup between June and July.
The Confederations Cup is contested by winners from CAF, UEFA, South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), The Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), The Asian Football Confederation (AFC), The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) as well as the host nation of the World Cup.
The COSAFA Cup Senior Challenge competition was inaugurated in 1997 and is played between June and July every year after it was changed from its May to June schedule.
COSAFA Secretary General, Sue Destombes, told the Windhoek Observer this week that the association is yet to decide on the date change, but that a meeting is planned for later this month were the issue will be discussed.
“COSAFA will be discussing this matter at their next meeting of the COSAFA Competitions Standing Committee and we are therefore not in a position to answer any of your questions at this time. The meeting will take place later this month,” Destombes said.
Namibia Football Association (NFA) President, Frans Mbidi, said they welcome CAF’s decision to move the AFCON to June.
Mbidi said he does not have a problem with the COSAFA being shifted to January as many leagues in the southern region will be on a break during the Christmas period that starts mid-December until mid-January every year.
“COSAFA was already aware of the decision because COSAFA has more executive members at CAF. All CAF wants is for Africa to use the same calendar as that of Europe. We are looking at January and February,” Mbidi said.