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COSAFA voice disapproval of xenophobia in South Africa

Posted: 21 April 2015 Time: 21:35

The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) has slammed the outbreak of xenophobic attacks in South Africa and has vowed to use the upcoming Cosafa Cup 2015 as a means to heal the wounds of the region.

Parts of South Africa have seen attacks on foreign nationals with some locals calling for them to leave the country.

The North West province, which will host the Cosafa Cup 2015 from May 17-30, has not been affected.

Cosafa president Suketu Patel says the regional tournament will play a key role in fighting xenophobia.

“Cosafa is a zone of multicultural backgrounds and we fully condemn the shameful xenophobia we are seeing in South Africa.

"However, we stand firmly behind SAFA at this time and are looking forward to the Cosafa FA Cup 2015 as an opportunity for all countries in the region to come together in peace,” Patel says.

Former Namibia Football Association president John Muinjo, who is now chairman of Cosafa’s Referees Committee and a senior member of the executive, is also hopeful the Cosafa Cup 2015 can build solidarity.

“In support of the decision taken by the South African government as well as SADC to condemn the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, I feel as Cosafa leaders we should also condemn the violence strongly,” Muinjo said.

“But football being a bridge-builder, we should in solidarity encourage Safa and Cosafa to host the tournament in South Africa as planned and by doing so demonstrating that as Africans we are against those barbaric acts and that Cosafa is determined to assist normalising the situation.”

Safa has already condemned the xenophobic attacks and called on the perpetrators to cease immediately.

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