New tournament in COSAFA Schools Cup added to exciting COSAFA calendar!

COSAFA has introduced a new tournament that solidifies it’s cause to development football in the region. The COSAFA Schools Cup is an exciting new addition to the regional football calendar that will unearth the future stars of football in the southern region. This will be the seventh competition in this year’s calendar. Mozambique will host the launch and kick-off event of the CAF African Schools Programme of which the winner from Cosafa region will part take. Cosafa general secretary, Sue Destombes is excited about the year ahead.

“This will be the zonal tournament. It is the qualifier for the CAF African Schools Programme. This year there has been nine countries, out of the 14 from the region, have committed to taking part in this year’s competition. One winner will represent the region at the continental competition,” says Destombes.

In 2021, the region introduced the qualifier for the CAF Women’s Champions League which saw Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies dominate and went on to win the continental competition held in Egypt. The competition will return for the second edition this year.

The Cosafa Cup (senior men’s), Cosafa Women’s Championship, Cosafa Men’s Under-20 Championship, Cosafa Under-17 Boys’ and Girls’ Championships and the Cosafa Beach Soccer Championship are some of the other competitions taking place this year.

Some of these tournaments will serve as continental qualifiers for several competition on the continent.

Destombes has stressed the importance of having the Girls Under-17 tournament in the region which is held around the same time as the women’s senior competition.

“It has some kind of a big impact. By playing in Under-17 competition, that is the one shot that they have at participation as there isn’t a Girls Under-17 tournament in the continent as the boys do. It’s a chance for them to participate and somehow prepare the girls for the FIFA qualifiers and how would they do that if there is no competition at zonal level. Without the region formalizing the competition it’s very difficult, the boys have a continental championship every second year, but the girls don’t. So, there is a huge gap,” she says.

The region is also committed to growing Beach Soccer and will be hosting its third annual Championship this year. Mozambique are the current holders and second winners after Madagascar won the inaugural event in Seychelles in 2015. The region signed a three-year partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and the City of eThekwini to host several annual tournaments in Durban, including the beach soccer competition.

The agreement runs from August 2021 to December 2023, and provides the COSAFA Cup, COSAFA Women’s Champions League and COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship.

Competitions calendar

  • COSAFA Cup (senior men’s) July 5-17
  • TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League/ COSAFA Qualifiers – August 4-14
  • COSAFA Women’s Championship – August 31 – September 11
  • COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship – September 17-25
  • COSAFA Men’s Under-20 Championship – October 6-16
  • COSAFA Schools Cup – October 28 – November 6
  • COSAFA Under-17 Boys’ and Girls’ Championships – November 30 – December 10

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