By Staff Reporter
The Coalition of Supporters Union of Africa (Cosua) that was launched in Ghana in 2006, is putting their ducks in the row ahead of Africa’s biggest sporting bonanza, the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa.
Cosua has rolled up its sleeves and will hold its first gathering that will coincide with the union’s official inauguration at its headquarters in Johannesburg, this week.
The chairperson of the Brave Warriors Supporters Club, Kayele McBride Kambombo, and two of the club’s members ABC Cooper and Carlos ‘CK’ Kambaekua (journalist) have been invited to attend the historic occasion.
Advocate Sarfo Abebrese is the pioneer behind Cosua. He initiated a seeming revolution in African football and worked around the clock, travelling to all parts of the world to spread the gospel about the objective of Cosua and make sure the union has all the support it deserves to make the African initiative a great success.
Should South Africa fail the world by not bringing together thousands of football fans through the turnstiles to support the six African nations competing at the 2010 global showpiece, Africa would collectively fail and might not be considered to host another World Cup in our lifetime.
The sponsors of the world football event would prefer tens of thousands of fans to watch the semifinal clashes rather than having just a few hundreds or thousands.
Football is a religion on the African continent and African countries were clearly robbed of victories against European powerhouses in both the 1990 and 1994 World Cup finals in Italy and United States of America respectively.
When the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon were on the verge of ousting England from the 1990 World Cup in Italy, Africa was given a slap in the face when the English were awarded two dubious penalties that swung the result in their favour.
It all happened again at the 1994 World Cup finals in the United States when Italy were also awarded a highly disputed penalty against Nigeria eight minutes before the final whistle, and Cosua will now become the ultimate answer to this degradation.
Africa and its people have learnt a good lesson from the past experiences in all previous tournaments of great magnitude. Now is the time for Africa and its citizens to put the experiences gained through those processes into good use.
Cosua, through its founding president Abebrese is currently negotiating with potential sponsors to ensure their supporters at the 2010 World Cup finals get the cheapest rates possible.
The possibility even exists that Cosua members may not even have to pay to get to the World Cup to promote unity amongst al the inhabitants of the African continent.
People wishing to become members of Cosua can only join through the Brave Warriors Supporters’ Club (BWSC). Membership of the BWSC costs N$150 per person while Cosua membership costs U$20, which is about N$150 in local currency.
The primary objective is to mobilize all Africans across the continent and in the Diaspora to provide unified support for the six African nations that will represent the continent at the 2010 Fifa World Cup finals in South Africa. An event that will primarily serve as an African unity project through sport.
The Cosua delegation under the able leadership of Abebrese has embarked on the arduous task of touring all 53 African countries, including the Diaspora with the message of hope and unity for the continent.
Strategically, Cosua started with Southern Africa and have already visited Namibia, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
The reception was overwhelming and Cosua certainly achieved its aim in all these countries. Cosua linked up with the various football associations, local supporters unions and the mass media.
Press conferences were held in every country, with extensive coverage on national TV, newspapers, radio, online media, etc.
Cosua also met with most stakeholders in football administration and were received with great enthusiasm.
All the countries that Abebrese has covered so far had readily jumped onto the Cosua bandwagon as affiliates and the current membership is about 100,000. With more countries still to be covered, Cosua is now looking at attracting over two million organized supporters to roar Africa on to victory at the 2010 World Cup finals.
Cosua plans to get at least 40,000 African supporters into the stadiums wearing designated Cosua T-shirts and memorabilia whenever African teams are in action.
Beyond the continent, Cosua is embracing Africans in the Diaspora, and to this end Abebrese is to lead a delegation to London to set up the European bureau of Cosua, that will be headed by the editor of OBE TV sports, Kwaku Ofsu Asare.
In the United States, the Cosua bureau for North America is being set up in Albany, New York, under the leadership of the US attorney Timothy Taylor. He is also working hard to establish a working relationship between the Barrack Oboma campaign and Cosua.
The South American bureau will be set up in the Caribbean, based in Jamaica. A Jamaican attorney, Patrick Foster, will run it.
Africa needs to connect with its kith and kin.
The Cosua sports trust will do the trick with 2010 targeted as the turning point. It will be Africa’s year of laughter – the year when the African family will dance together at their own festival.
Cosua has been in contact various official bodies. A series of meetings with the UN Directorate of Sports for Peace, headed by Dr Djibril Diallo, was held. Abebrese has officially filed Cosua with his office.
Cosua will be expecting him as a special guest of honour at the official inauguration of its operational headquarters in Johannesburg tomorrow, Friday, 11 July.
With regard to funding, Cosua has tremendous backing from Katota Holdings Company of Johannesburg. Its subsidiary property company, Psimmeco, owners of the 23-storey Queens Garden Hotel, has already reserved 50,000 rooms for Cosua members during the 2010 World Cup. The official sponsorship drive will begin after the inauguration tomorrow.