Cosafa in total control

JOHANNESBURG - The year 2017 has been some roller-coaster for the Cosafa Region on a number of fronts.

The year started with the Region taking an unprecedented position of supporting Issa Hayatou’s opponent Ahmad of Madagascar ahead of the elections that ushered the islander as the football supremo on the continent.

It is now history that riding on the back of that backing, Ahmad trounced the long time African football ruler 34-20 in an election that shook the world.

It is during that election in the Ethiopian capital that Cosafa dominated proceedings with most of its members being elected on the Caf Executive and assuming greater control of continental football.

And that momentum was carried over to the Fifa Congress which took place in Bahrain a few days ago in which most of the Cosafa bigwigs got some very influential positions both on the continent and globally.

For starters, the man who engineered the demise of Hayatou, our own Philip Chiyangwa has been elevated within the echelons of continental football spheres.

He will deputise Nigerian Amaju Pinnick, his personal friend as Deputy Chair of the Africa Cup of Nations Organising Committee in which they will have unfettered powers to award and take away the organising and running of the Afcon tournaments.

This is probably the most powerful committee of all of Caf’s Standing Committees.

As if his growing status as the kingmaker of African football is concerned is not enough, Chiyangwa was made president of the Coceno, a conglomeration of Cosafa, Cecafa and the North Regions.

These Regions will meet periodically to co-operate on various areas such as competitions and other football-related activities.

The Coceno grouping, however, is seen as a political backer of Ahmad, making it almost impossible in the coming years to dislodge his camp from power any time soon.

Safa president, Danny Jordaan will head the Caf Marketing and TV Committee, a department that will look after the continental governing body’s marketing interests.

It waits to be seen if Jordaan will expunge the Legardere contract which many believe has lots of loopholes and should be revisited.

Jordaan is a seasoned campaigner and this heart and soul committee of Caf could not have gone to a more deserving individual.

With Cosafa looking in total control of Caf proceedings, things can only look better and better for a region once considered the poor man of Africa in terms of leadership and playing personnel.

Coincidentally, football on this part of the region is also on the rise with teams from Mzansi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho and Zambia qualifying for the Caf Group stages in the Champions League and Confederations Cup.

There is a lot of work which needs to be ploughed however, if Cosafa is going to compete with the likes of West and North African counterparts.

The talent is there; it was just untapped due to a number of factors in the past but with the likes of Chiyangwa and Jordaan orchestrating things, only the sky can be the limit.

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