Cosafa Cup launch today


Dates have again been set for the end of the season with the tournament to be played May 15-29, allowing participating countries to pick full strength teams as they plan for vital African Nations Cup qualifying matches in June.

The final round of South African league matches will be played on May 21, but with the national team likely to only feature in the second week of the Cosafa Cup tournament, Shakes Mashaba should be able to select a near-full strength locally-based side bar those players involved in the Nedbank Cup Final.

It is the first time Namibia host the event, which earlier this year was held in the North West province and won in an upset result by the Namibians, who beat Mozambique in the Final.

South Africa flopped at the first hurdle and heavyweights like Zambia and Zimbabwe also fell by the wayside with surprising ease.

The matches are to be played in Windhoek and Cosafa are to keep the same format which means countries ranked 7-14 in the region play in a first round group competition. They are divided into two groups of four and only the winner advances onto the knockout stage where they are joined by the top six ranked countries.

A plate competition is also held for quarter-final stage losers which guarantees each participating country will play at least two matches.

This year Cosafa members, Angola and the Comoros Islands, did not compete – which saw outsiders Ghana and Tanzania invited instead - but Cosafa are expecting a full house next year, official said yesterday.