WINDHOEK – The 15th edition of the annual Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup will bring together the finest talent of the region, including invited guests, in a festival of football from May 17-30 this year.
Continental powerhouse South Africa will play host to this year’s tourney with North West Province earmarked to stage matches as the popular regional event returns to Southern African shores following the successful staging of the 2013 edition in Zambia, which was won by the host nation.
The regional Cosafa Cup has a long history in assisting in the area of developing the stars of tomorrow and there is no doubt there will be a significant turnout of future gems during the fortnight of non-stop action.
The likes of Zimbabwe’s Peter Ndlovu, Benji Mwaruwaru, South Africa’s Teko Modise, Katlego Mphela, Chris Katongo (Zambia), Collin Benjamin (Namibia) and the Angolan pair of Manucho and Flavio have all risen to prominence during this tourney.
Twelve of the 14 member states that make up Cosafa will converge in South Africa with the exception of Angola and Comoros Islands.
Their places in the tourney have been taken by African Nations Cup losing finalist Ghana and east African powerhouse Tanzania, who are both likely to provide a stern challenge to the Cosafa nations.
“It will be exciting for us to witness the new generation of football stars from Southern Africa emerge this year for what we are sure will be another thrilling chapter in the rich history of the Cosafa Cup,” says Cosafa member John Muinjo.
“Apart from the football extravaganza, we have invited guests from Ghana and Tanzania whom we believe will bring a combined flavour of west and east African football.
“Their presence will doubtlessly liven up the tourney while adding an aura of pleasantness to the competition on the field of play,” continued Muinjo.
Meanwhile, the format of the two-week tourney is the same as in 2013 and sees the lower eight participating nations according to the February FIFA rankings to compete in the first round, where they will be drawn into two pools each containing four teams.
The top two nations from each group advance to the knockout stage where the six higher ranked teams will join the fray from the quarterfinals.
Namibia is among the 12 participating nations representing the Cosafa region. Although the Brave Warriors reached the final of the regional tourney on three occasions they are yet to grease their palms with the coveted trophy.