Africa: With a new three-year contract in place, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and COSAFA celebrated the commencement of the 2022 HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Women’s Championship in style and recommitted to work together towards the development of women’s football in Africa.
The celebration took place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, where more than 100 guests and key football role-players attended the Mayoral Civic Reception on Thursday, 1 September 2022, where the guests were welcomed in true African style.
With the City hosting the tournament for the fifth time this year, NMBM has strengthened its position as the City of action and best sporting destination as successful tournaments were executed even amid the challenging COVID-19 outbreak.
Addressing the guests on Thursday evening, Executive Mayor Cllr Eugene Johnson said: “I thank the organisers of this event for selecting this Municipality as the host for the fifth successive time. For us, sport is a vehicle to promote social cohesion; throughout this tournament, you will be encountering recreational infrastructure, our beaches, arts, culture and heritage. We appreciate that as you go about your business, including your sampling of our cultural tourism experience, you will be contributing to the recovery of our economy beyond the recent devastation of COVID-19.”
COSAFA President Artur S. De Almeida said they were grateful for the City’s continued support that contributed to the development of women’s football in African countries.
He said: “We are very happy to be in Nelson Mandela Bay because we asked the government of Nelson Mandela Bay to give us support for women’s football. That is very important to us because FIFA also gives us some support like today we finished a workshop to talk about how to develop school football. This is an opportunity for COSAFA to lead not only in the zones but to develop women’s football in our countries.
“We are so excited, and we are very happy to be here because we spoke with the Mayor, and Port Elizabeth will host us for the next five years. That is a great opportunity to work hard and to develop women’s football in our zones.”
SAFA President Danny Jordaan also commended the City for its commitment to supporting the tournament and said there was more room for growth in women’s football and schools sport than there was in men’s football.
The tournament is running until 11 September 2022.