COSAFA has noted several media reports around the issue of a Participation Fee that members will pay in order to play at some of our tournaments this year, and would like to place on record the facts:
* A Participation Fee amount of US$20,000 will be required for member associations to compete in the 2021 COSAFA Cup. A fee of US$10,000 will be levied for the inaugural Women’s Champions League and Futsal competitions.
* The Participation Fees were approved by all member associations at the COSAFA General Assembly that was held in Johannesburg in January 2021.
* The Participation Fees will be used to fund the organising and delivery of the COSAFA Cup and Futsal tournaments, which are not covered by development funds from the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The Women’s Champions League is partly covered by development funds, but not enough to stage the event without additional financial support.
* Our member associations are of the view that the benefits to the development of players, coaches and referees through COSAFA events outweighs the cost of the Participation Fees.
* In these challenging economic times brought about by COVID-19, we have not managed to secure a sponsor for these three competitions yet. Should a sponsor(s) be signed and the revenue sufficient to cover the costs of the events, the Participation Fees will not be levied, or if already paid, will be refunded.
* The COSAFA leadership remains committed to finding sponsors for all our tournaments and is in constant engagement with potential partners, but we must also recognise the challenge COVID-19 has brought for many sectors across the region.
* COSAFA did apply for COVID-19 relief funding last year, but as we are a zone within CAF and are not direct members of FIFA, our application was not successful.
* The Participation Fees for these three events will remain in place until such a time as long-term sponsors can be found for these properties.