Over to you, Mr President

HARARE - Zifa boss Philip Chiyangwa was yesterday elected to be the new president of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa).

Chiyangwa ascended to the post unopposed at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting at Sun City, South Africa.

The Zifa president takes over from Seychelles’ Suketu Patel, who decided not to stand after completing two terms in office.

The other contender for the role of Cosafa president Danny Jordaan, who is the South African Football Association president, withdrew before the vote.

Chiyangwa expressed his delight at having received the support of the region, who unanimously welcomed his appointment, saying he was “happy and humbled” to lead.

“Officially the new Cosafa president! Consisting of 14 countries, the biggest group in the world! Well done Zimbabwe, we have done it here in Sun City. Unanimously voted for by my colleagues the football presidents of Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Mozambique and many more,” Chiyangwa wrote on Facebook.

Frans Mbidi of Namibia was voted in as Chiyangwa’s vice-president for the next five years.

The vote was taken as well for the five additional individuals to make up the executive committee in their role as ordinary members, with the successful candidates being Pedro Neto (Angola), Andrew Kamanga (Zambia), Sameer Sobha (Mauritius), Alberto Simanga (Mozambique) and Walter Nyamilandu-Manda (Malawi), who has served as an ordinary member on the outgoing executive.

Jordaan, David Fani (Botswana) and Mclean Letshwidi (Botswana) withdrew from the vote for ordinary members.

Out-going president Patel said he believed he had completed his mission to help develop football in the Cosafa region and it was now time to pass on the baton.

“When I took over the presidency 10 years ago, development was the objective and we have achieved that,” Patel said.

“It is important to know when one has done his job and leave with dignity. Back then we had one tournament, our senior challenge, but this year we have hosted five events across the age-groups in men’s and women’s football.

“It has always been our objective that young players’ first exposure to international football is in our region. I hope that legacy will continue.

“We have great sponsors in place and these relationships now need to be nurtured. We have built a credible institution that is accountable to its members. Cosafa is perceived to be the premier region in the Caf family.”

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