MASERU — The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Under 20 tournament carries no monetory rewards as the only a junior competition, said the Chief Operations Officer of Cosafa Sue Destombes.
Destombes told the Sunday Express yesterday that the prizes for winners in the 14-nation competition which was hosted by Lesotho in the past two weeks were only limited to trophies.
“There are no monetary prizes for the competition since it is a junior competition, prizes come in the form of trophies only,” she said.
Last week Destombes told a local weekly that the country would get the legacy and not necessarily financial gain for hosting the sub-regional youth tournament.
The Under 20 edition of the Cosafa competition is hosted with the aim of bolstering youthful participants’ sporting skills in preparation for a fruitful professional future in soccer.
Cosafa media official, Lynda Greeff, reiterated the fact saying that the “Cosafa Under 20 tournament is an amateur competition hence it has no financial prizes attached thereto”.
This after some of the teams that participated in the grand youth competition were irate after leaving the Mountain Kingdom with no financial gain for their part in the tournament.
The Sunday Express understands that there are officials from a bunch of teams that left the competition this week over unpaid allowances by Cosafa after the tournament.
Destombes said allowances were the responsibility of the respective country soccer associations not that of the sub-regional body.
“This is a junior tournament. Any allowances are paid by the respective associations,” Destombes said.
Around M10 million inclusive of TV rights was committed by the regional office towards the tournament.
Though the country has not directly benefitted financially from hosting the youthful tournament, it is believed that the competition boosted Lesotho’s capacity and also stretched its tourism exposure since 13 countries were hosted in the country for the duration of the competition.
The Local Organising Committee headed by the Lesotho Football Association’s second vice-president Lebohang Thotanyana was responsible for the accommodation with respective countries paying for their own travel expenses.
South Africa beat Kenya two nil in yesterday’s final at the Setsoto Stadium to clinch the tournament for the fifth time.