Botswana to host COSAFA Cup 2014
Published On March 28, 2014 » 2230 Views» By Administrator Times » Sports, Stories
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By YVONNE SAKALA –
THE Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) has confirmed Botswana as the host for this year’s edition of the COSAFA Senior Challenge Cup scheduled for September in Gaborone.
Botswana will thereby become the fourth nation to stage the one of the world’s best regional football championship since the finals switched to a tournament format in 2007.
COSAFA media officer, Lynda Greeff said in a statement yesterday that Botswana through its Ministry of Sport confirmed they were game to host the games.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) had applied for the tournament and was waiting for Government approval.
“We are delighted as Botswana have been given an opportunity by COSAFA to host this regional tournament which represents the largest regional constituency of CAF.
“We are particularly delighted with the support that His Excellency Lt Gen Ian Seretse Khama has given to sports in Botswana, particularly football. We commit to raise the bar in terms of delivery of this tournament,” said BFA President Tebogo Sebego.
And COSAFA’s competitions committee chairperson, Timothy Shongwe said the regional body had faith in Botswana’s ability to deliver a world-class event.
Shongwe said hosting this year’s edition would build on the country’s successful hosting of the COSAFA Under-20 Youth Championships in 2010 and 2011 and would provide Botswana with an opportunity to showcase the ability to stage a continental championship.
“We are delighted to have Botswana confirmed as the venue for the 2014 COSAFA Cup. Botswana has a proven record of hosting regional championships and the facilities are excellent.
Most importantly, the 2014 COSAFA Cup has the support of the Botswana government and in particular President Ian Khama. We look forward to another fantastic tournament that will showcase the developing talent in the Southern African region,” Shongwe said.
Meanwhile, Greeff said the 2014 edition that would run from September 13-28, had strategically been placed between the first and second rounds of the qualifiers for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to give coaches maximum time to work with their local-based players.
She said a total of 14 teams, which is likely to include at least one guest nation from outside the region, would compete with the eight lowest ranked sides according to the FIFA World rankings at the time of playing round-robin group games.
The COSAFA media officer said the top two teams in each pool would advance to the quarter-finals, where they will be joined by the six best positioned sides on the world rankings.
Greeff said the competition would continue in a knockout format with a total of 23 games to be played.
She said making a return this year would be the popular Plate category which allows those sides knocked out in the quarter final stage to benefit from more matches.
The format of the competition would be the similar as the successful event staged by Zambia last year where the Chipolopolo emerged COSAFA Cup winners on home soil when they beat Zimbabwe in the finals played in Ndola.

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