WINDHOEK – Following the successful conclusion of the 22nd edition of the COSAFA U-20 Championship draw in Maseru, Lesotho on Sunday, Namibia has been handed a task equal to scaling mount Everest as they face reigning champions South Africa, Zambia and Seychelles in Group-C of the youth competition.
It will be the first time since 2011 that the competition takes place, as the 2012 edition was canceled in order for COSAFA to fully concentrated their efforts on organizing the football competition as part of last year’s Zone VI Games. Namibia will lock horns with Zambia, who have won 10 editions since the competition’s inception in 1988, in the opening match of the competition. In another Group-C match, South Africa, who will be going into this tourney as hot favourites, will confront Seychelles in a winnable encounter. Hosts Lesotho are pitted against Kenya, Comoros Islands and Mauritius in Group-A, while Group-B will be led by Angola, Mozambique and Madagascar.
Group-D will see Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland take each other on for top honours in that pool. The nations will play each other in a round-robin format in the first stage with the top team in each pool advancing to the semi-finals. Because there are only three teams in Groups B and D, the top two sides in these groups will each play one additional match crossing over between B and D. The top side in Group B will play the second-placed team in D and vise versa.
A total of 14 countries have been split into 4 groups. The competition is scheduled to take place between December 3 and 14, in the cities of Maseru and Mafeteng in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. Meanwhile, the competition is exclusively open to players born on or before 1 January 1994. Secretary-General of the Namibia Football Association (NFA) Barry Rukoro yesterday confirmed that the association will in due course announce the name of the coach that will take charge of the team and the names of the selected squad.
By Otniel Hembapu