Patel to replace Bhamjee in Cosafa?

Sipho Mthembu

Sipho Mthembu

Speculation abounds that Suketu Patel of Seychelles Football Federation will replace the disgraced Ismail Bhamjee as president of the Congress of Southern African Football Associations at the organisation's congress in Botswana tomorrow.

This after the South African Football Association (Safa) dropped hints this week that they will be backing the Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive ahead of legendary Zambian Kalusha Bwalya and Namibian high court judge Petrus Damaseb.

"We will have to go with Patel," Safa president Molefi Oliphant was quoted saying by earlier in the week. "I sat with him in the CAF executive while he was chairman of the finance committee."

While Oliphant will carry Safa's vote in Gaborone tomorrow, there is no consensus yet in the Safa executive.

A high-ranking Safa official, who preferred to remain anonymous, said it was 50-50 between Patel and Bwalya.

"Kalusha is young but has enough experience to turn Cosafa around into a dynamic regional organisation. Why go for Patel? How can you run a Cosafa office at the far-flung Seychelles?" the official asked.

Bwalya also has the support of his native Zambia and Malawi, while Damaseb is as good as a non-starter in tomorrow's election. The first challenge for tomorrow's winner will be to dismantle the marketing department of the Cosafa Challenge, which is controlled by a cabal of white former "Rhodesians".