COSAFA Cup makes return this weekend
by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Cup kicks off in the North West Province in South Africa this weekend.
The prestigious regional championship will be staged from May 17-30 at Olympia Mark in Rustenburg and the Moruleng Stadium.
Namibia gets proceeding off with a clash against Seychelles while later on Sunday, joint record-holders Zimbabwe play Mauritius.
The competition sees 14 teams enter this year, including guest nations Ghana, who finished runners up at the 2015 African Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea, and Tanzania.
Eight teams enter the first round pool stage, split into two groups each containing four sides. They compete on a round robin bases with the top teams in each pool advancing to the quarterfinals.
Group A contains Zimbabwe, Namibia, Seychelles and Mauritius, while Group B has Tanzania, Swaziland, Lesotho and Madagascar.
The top six teams according to the FIFA World Rankings enter at the quarterfinal stage. Hosts South Africa take on Botswana, Mozambique clash with Malawi, Ghana play the winner of Group B and defending champions Zambia wait for the winners of Group A.
The losing quarterfinal teams compete in the Plate competition, with the winners advancing in the Cup.
In all, 23 matches are played over 13 days of competition
The COSAFA Cup was launched in 1997 and very quickly become one of the most exciting competitions on the African soccer calendar, described by FIFA President Sepp Blatter as the best regional tournament in the world.
Lack of sponsorship have nonetheless previously thwarted the holding of the competition. Power Horse and Castle are this year’s sponsors.
Zambia and Zimbabwe have each won four titles, with South Africa and Angola the only other winners with three each.
COSAFA is made up of Angola, Botswana, the Comoros Islands, Lesotho Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
– CAJ News
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=5767