Mehluli Sibanda in Sun City, South Africa —
PHILLIP CHIYANGWA said he was elated and humbled after landing the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations top post unopposed here yesterday.
Just over a year after he was elected as the Zifa president, Chiyangwa made history by becoming the first Zimbabwean to land the powerful regional post.
“I am elated, I think no other Zimbabwean has held such a post, at Caf or at Fifa level before,’’ he said.
Chiyangwa replaces longtime Cosafa president Suketu Patel of Seychelles who decided not to seek re-election at the end of his second five-year term.
The Zimbabwean football boss was declared the president of the 14-nation regional grouping after Danny Jordan of South Africa , his only challenger for the top post, withdrew from the race.
Fran Mbidi of Namibia was also elected vice president unopposed. The ordinary members are General Nato(Angola), Walter Manda (Malawi), Sameer Sobha (Mauritius), Alberto Junior Simango (Mozambique) and Andrew Kamanga of Zambia.
Chiyangwa, accompanied here by his deputy Omega Sibanda, executive committee members Philip Machana, Piraishe Mabhena and acting general secretary Joseph Mamutse, feels it was only fitting that Zimbabwe heads Cosafa.
“We are the only country from the region that is going to Afcon and it’s only natural that we lead the organisation,” he said.
“My mission is to continue the good work done by Mr Patel.”
Patel said his wish is for the successes that have been achieved under his leadership to be carried forward by the Chiyangwa dispensation.
“It is important to know when one has done his job and leave with dignity. 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. Casafa is perceived to be the premier region in the Caf family.”
Meanwhile, Cosafa head of technical Sue Destombes said Zimbabwe have been offered to host the regional senior women’s championship next year.
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