The Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) can confirm that the 2021 COSAFA Cup to be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from July 6-18 will go ahead as scheduled.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that the country would move to adjusted Level 4 restrictions to combat a rise in COVID-19 infections that are largely contained in the Gauteng province.
But the updated Government Gazette clearly states that professional sports events around the country may continue, as long as the appropriate precautions are put in place.
COSAFA, along with the South African Football Association, have created a bio-secure environment for the teams, officials and organisers of the COSAFA Cup in Nelson Mandela Bay, replicating the successful ‘bubble’ for the four tournaments staged in the Eastern Cape at the end of 2020.
“Whilst there is a need to implement stricter measures to deal with the current statistics, the President of South Africa in his address to the Nation on 27 June 2021 was clear in that daily life and business, in particular, should continue”, COSAFA General Secretary Sue Destombes said.
“The restrictions on inter-provincial travel does not apply to transit through OR TAMBO International Airport in Johannesburg, and travel for the purposes of business is permitted. COSAFA has already put in place strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all role players, including operating within a bio-bubble and playing matches behind closed doors.”
“COSAFA, hosts Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and agencies of the South African Government have extensive experience in staging events in the midst of the lockdown, having hosted four competitions in Nelson Mandela Bay in 2020, and with professional domestic football and international matches continuing.”