Artur de Almeida e Silva from Angola has been elected as the new President of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) for the next four years following the organisation’s Elective General Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia on Saturday.
Artur de Almeida is also the President of the Angolan Football Federation and was the only nominee to replace out-going President, Dr Phillip Chiyangwa.
Comoros Football Federation President Said Ali Said Athouman was the only nominee for the Vice-President position and was duly elected.
There were five Ordinary Members who were also elected, namely Timothy Shongwe (Eswatini), Walter Nyamilandu-Manda (Malawi), Faizal Sidat (Mozambique), Ms Brenda Kunda (Zambia) and Khiba Mohoanyane (Lesotho). The COSAFA Statutes state that one Ordinary Member must be a woman.
“I am delighted to have been given the trust and confidence of COSAFA nations to lead the organisation for the next four years,” Artur de Almeida said. “I must thank the out-going leadership under President Phillip Chiyangwa for the excellent work of the Executive Committee since their election in December 2016.
“I am confident the future of COSAFA is full of potential, and I am excited to hit the ground running and grow the organisation in the coming years so that it may continue to serve football in our Southern African region to the benefit of all Member Associations.”
Thirteen of the 14 COSAFA Member Associations were present at the Elective General Assembly, with only Zimbabwe, who were absent as a consequence of their current FIFA suspension, which bars them from football activities until lifted.
The Elective General Assembly was attended by Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Patrice Motsepe, who urged Member Associations to work closely with their governments to grow the game.
“You can’t separate football and the economic growth of our countries. I am confident [for the future],” Dr Motsepe said.
“We are about football. In Eswatini, Lesotho, in every country, part of what we have to do is make sure we get more funding and financing. Where government works together with our football leaders, we make progress.
“We will never be able to develop the potential of football without financial backing.”
The 13 associations in attendance have agreed to support FIFA President Gianni Infantino in his bid for re-election in 2023.
“We believe Gianni Infantino represents the best candidate to lead global football for another four years,” Artur de Almeida said. “He has repeatedly displayed his desire to grow African football and has backed up his words with action.”