SAB Miller marketing director for Africa and Asia, Dave Carruthers said in a statement yesterday that they will sponsor this year’s southern Africa regional tournament. Cosafa president Suketu Patel also confirmed Castle Lager’s sponsorship of the regional tournament, to be known as the Cosafa Castle Challenge. This year’s event will be held in Zimbabwe from October 17 to November 1 in Harare and Bulawayo. Carruthers said Castle is delighted to again be associated with the Cosafa Senior Challenge tournament. “Castle is delighted to again be associated with an event still regarded as one of the foremost on the annual African footballing calendar.” He said Castle Lager has such a long tradition of backing football in the region such that the marriage between Cosafa and the region’s favourite beer is one that has to be continued. “We are very proud to once again be involved and to continue our role as the leading sponsor of football in the southern African region.” Carruthers said although sponsorship is just for this year, SAB Miller is committed to discussing a long-term association with Cosafa after the 2009 tournament in Zimbabwe. “Our sponsorship happened at quite short notice, so we decided just to be headline sponsors for this year and then review our next steps thereafter,” he added. Zambia will play Namibia in the quarterfinals, with champions South Africa taking on Angola while Malawi will meet Mozambique. The Cosafa Castle Cup was launched in 1997 and quickly developed into the biggest regional football tournament, but SAB Miller withdrew sponsorship last year.