The 2016 edition of the COSAFA Cup was officially launched in Windhoek on Tuesday with the announcement of the return of Castle Lager as title sponsor for the regional showpiece.
The championship, organised by the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA), in conjunction with the Namibia Football Association (NFA), will be staged in Namibia from May 15 to 29 and matches will be played at the Sam Nujoma and Independence stadiums.
To be known as the COSAFA Castle Cup 2016, it will feature the best of southern Africa’s emerging talent, with Namibia seeking to retain the title they won in South Africa earlier this year.
Castle Lager, that has played a massive part in the southern African championship’s growth, were title sponsors for the inaugural event in 1997 and remained so for a decade. Castle Lager has now signed an agreement as title sponsor of the COSAFA Cup for the next five years, securing the future of one of the world’s top regional competitions.
“We at Castle Lager are once again proud to announce our renewed sponsorship of the COSAFA Castle Cup for a further five-year period,” Alastair Hewitt, general manager of Castle Lager Africa at SABMiller said.
“The duration of our sponsorships and the integral role that we play in developing our future sporting stars on the continent of Africa is unrivalled and shows our true commitment to the people of Africa and their passion for the ‘Beautiful Game’.
“The tournament provides Castle Lager with the opportunity to unite the nations of southern Africa, as the 14 countries of the region come together in Namibia in 2016 to compete in the tournament. We’ve recently built a new brewery in Okahandja and this tournament provides us with an opportunity to profile the work that we do in football and also our commitment to the country of Namibia as a new commercial venture in the country.”
NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro said the entire country is delighted to host the COSAFA Castle Cup for the first time in its history and promised a spectacle for football fans. “The NFA is proud to host the COSAFA family here in our uniquely beautiful country next May,” he said.
“The visiting teams will be welcomed and hosted with the highest degree of hospitality and we feel certain they will have a great time and enjoy their participation in the tournament. As defending champions we are looking forward to embarking on a new and fresh challenge – that of winning our second regional championship and maintaining the growth that we have realised in the last few years.
“We know that the Namibian football family, led by our patron, His Excellency, the President of Namibia Dr Hage Geingob, will support the competition wholeheartedly.”