Confederation of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) chief operations officer Sue Destombes has announced the change of venue for today’s 2016 Cosafa Cup draw, moving the draw venue from Windhoek to Johannesburg, South Africa.
According to a statement issued by the Namibia Football Association (NFA) yesterday, the changes to the initial venue in Windhoek to that in Johannesburg was necessitated by niggling flight problems. The statement indicates that the unavailability of space in tomorrow’s return flights to Johannesburg after the draw is the main reason why the draw was moved.
“It is with deep regret that I advise that due to the non-availability of flights from Windhoek to Johannesburg on Friday 29th after the draw, COSAFA resolved to move the draw from Windhoek to Johannesburg. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused, but these are circumstances beyond our control,” Destombes said in the statement.
Member of the COSAFA Local Organising Committee (LOC) and NFA secretary-general Barry Rukoro said: “This is a totally regrettable situation, but we have to do what we need to do for the sake of the draw. All flights are fully booked until Tuesday, 3 May, and that could have meant the whole Cosafa delegation from all over the region would stay in Windhoek until Tuesday, which is very costly.”
“The best decision arrived at is to still host the draw in Johannesburg, instead of Windhoek on Thursday as earlier planned”, Rukoro stated.
There are 14 teams in the tournament and eight of those will be involved in the first round, to be divided into two groups of four nations each. The teams divided in groups are: Malawi, Angola, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, as well as Madagascar, Lesotho, Mauritius and Seychelles. The teams have been seeded, based on the April 2016 FIFA world rankings.
The two group winners will join the defending champions, Namibia, alongside top-seeded DR Congo, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique in the quarterfinals.