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Priority is to save lives – Cosafa general secretary Destombes

Priority is to save lives - Cosafa general secretary Destombes - Sports Leo

The Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) general secretary Sue Destombes said the number one priority right now is keeping players and fans safe and healthy.

“As Fifa president Gianni Infantino said last week, the first priority right now is to save lives during the coronavirus pandemic and football will have to take a back seat,” Destombes said.

“The health of our people across the Southern African region must be foremost in our minds and we at Cosafa are doing our bit to create awareness around the virus and how to stop its spread as we continue to stay in touch with our stakeholders and football family.

“We obviously take our lead from governments in the region with regards to football activities and for now these are on hold. But rest assured, once we are able to resume with our tournament schedule, we will do so.

“Cosafa’s mandate has not changed, we are here to develop the game in the region, on and off the pitch, and that will continue to be the case after the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.”

The Cosafa region has been hit as hard as any, with no league action or international fixtures, as well as the postponement of the Cosafa Women’s Under-17 Championship that was due to be staged in Mauritius starting this weekend.

Infantino said Fifa has an emergency relief fund and the organisation is ready to use it.

“Thanks to the work that we have been doing together in Fifa during the past four years, we are today in a very strong financial situation,” Infantino said. “Fifa enjoys a good reputation in the financial markets. This has helped us consolidate a solid foundation with large reserves.

“But our reserves are not FIFA’s money. It is football’s money. So when football is in need, we must think about what we can do to help. It is our responsibility and our duty.”

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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