New Zimbabwe.com

Cosafa draw set for Thursday

THE DRAW for the 2015 Cosafa Cup will be conducted in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday, the regional football body confirmed on Monday.
The games will take place from May 17-31.
In a statement, Cosafa said the format will be the same as for the 2013 tournament which was won by Zambia after they beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in the final in Ndola.
The lower eight participating sides according to the February FIFA Rankings will compete in the first round, where they will be drawn into two pools each comprising four teams.
The top team in each group will advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, where the six higher ranked sides will join the tournament
from the quarterfinals onwards.
There will also be a plate competition for those sides knocked out in the quarterfinals of the competition to ensure each side plays multiple matches.
Cosafa is made up of Angola, Botswana, the Comoros Islands, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Comoros Islands have opted not to compete, while Angola will make a decision on their entry shortly.
“The regional senior championship is a crucial component for the development of football in Southern Africa and we are delighted to be staging the event in South Africa this year and using the world-class facilities of the North West province,” says COSAFA President Suketu Patel.
“This tournament forms part of a busy programme in 2015 which includes our Beach Soccer championship in Seychelles from April 9-11 and the Men’s Under-20 tournament late in the year.
“These are exciting times for the region and we look forward to staging a successful senior championship, one that FIFA President Sepp Blatter once stated was the best regional tournament in the world.”
The timing of the tournament gives many competing nations the chance to play full-strength sides, including their overseas-based players with many leagues having come to a close by then.
The South African Football Association will host the tournament, with 12 of the 14 COSAFA nations having confirmed their participation so far.Advertisement