The 20th edition of Cosafa Cup will kick in at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Thursday 17 June 2021, with a draw for participating teams.
Cosafa revealed that a draw for the group stage will be held in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), where the tournament will take place in July 2021.
“The 12-team tournament will take place from July 7-18 and returns after the 2020 edition had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The draw will be live on www.cosafa.tv from 11h00, when the fate of the competing teams will be decided.
“And there will be plenty of excitement with the addition of west African powerhouse Senegal to the field this year as they make a guest appearance in what is a landmark tournament for Cosafa.
“The Cosafa Cup has, over the years, launched the careers of a number of top stars from the region and continues to be a major driver of football development on and off the pitch for not just players, but also coaches, match officials and administrators.
“The competition will take on a new format for 2021 with the 12 teams split into three groups each containing four teams. This ensures each side will play a minimum of three matches,” read the statement.
“The top team in each pool, as well as the best second-placed finisher, will advance to the semifinals. There will be no Plate competition.
“Senegal is the top-ranked side in Africa and sit at number 22 in the world and will make their debut in COSAFA competition.
“Guest nations from outside the region have, over the years, provided excellent entertainment and a contrast in styles that makes for fascinating viewing.
“The other 10 sides confirmed so far are no strangers to the Cosafa Cup and include hosts South Africa, defending champions Zambia and record six-time winners Zimbabwe.
“Others to have booked their place are Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia. The 12th team will be confirmed in the coming days with a number of interested parties,” added Cosafa’s statement.
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter