It is full steam ahead for the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup according to the head of the Organising Committee Timothy Shongwe, who has declared both COSAFA and hosts Namibia ready for the June 11-25 regional championship in Windhoek.
The 14-team tournament features the best of the Southern African region and guest nation Democratic Republic of Congo in a festival of football to be played at the Independence and Sam Nujoma stadiums in Namibia’s capital.
Shongwe says the excellent infrastructure already in place in Windhoek has made the life of the Organising Committee an easy one to date.
“Namibia has everything there already, the transport infrastructure, the stadiums, the hotels and so on, it is all in place,” Shongwe says. “So we are obviously very happy and confident that in terms of the physical requirements, we have everything we need to a very high standard.
“We have finalised the training pitches for the teams. We actually have more than we need so have the option to switch to other venues should the need arise.
“In terms of the stakeholders, we have obviously received wonderful support from the Government of Namibia, who were represented at our launch, and the Namibia Football Association. Everybody is looking forward to a successful event.”
Shongwe says the fact that Namibia were successful hosts of the 2014 African Women’s Championship has been a plus in terms of having people with big tournament experience on the ground.
“The first meeting we had with the Local Organising Committee was fantastic because we could see they had already organised themselves into the various sub-committees that you need to host a major event like this,” he said.
“We know that many of the same people who were involved in the organising of the African Women’s Championship will be lending their experience to the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup, so that is a big plus.
“They know what needs to be done and have been fulfilling their duties excellently.“
Shongwe says what he calls the “resources delegation” has been finalised, a crucial cog in making the tournament tick.
“It is the match officials, day-to-day people within the organising committee and the support staff, all have been appointed. We are currently just putting together the travel arrangements and then we will be ready for the show.
“I have no doubt it will be a top-class event played in a beautiful country. We look forward to being able to hand over the pitches to the players to add the entertainment!”
Namibia, who are hosting for the first time, are the current holders of the COSAFA Castle Cup after they won their maiden title in 2015.
Zambia and Zimbabwe have four titles each, while Angola and South Africa have won the regional competition on three occasions.