By Dennis Mabuka
Kenya and Tanzania will take part in the Group stage of the 2013 Cosafa Castle Cup after being seeded in the tournament to be held in Zambia in July.
The East African nations, who are guest teams, will take part in the Group stage of the competition, together with, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mauritius and Seychelles.
The tournament kicks-off on July 6 in Kabwe and Lusaka. South Africa, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and defending champions Zimbabwe will all enter the competition at the last eight stage on July 13.
The Warriors, who are the defending champions, after winning the last edition of the tournament in 2009, were seeded on the strength of their Fifa ranking. They are ranked 98 in the World and 25 in Africa.
A delegation from Cosafa headed by Chief Operations Officer Sue Destombes was in Zambia last week on an inspection visit of facilities ahead of the tournament to run from July 6-21.
The party visited the three venues in Lusaka, Ndola and Kabwe, and but for some minor refurbishments at the latter venue, are wholly satisfied that the preparations are well on track for the regional showpiece.
The quarter-final games will be played in Lusaka and Kabwe while the losers will drop to the plate competition to be played at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe on July 16 and 18.
The sem-finals and final will be played at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium on July 17 and July 20 respectively.
Levy Stadium will also host the third and fourth playoff on July 20. Meanwhile, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana could skip the tournament after coach Gordon Igesund showed is displeasure with the fact that he might not be able to call upon his regular players for the tournament.
This is because the Cosafa Cup falls outside the Fifa calendar and clubs will therefore, be allowed to withhold their players from representing their countries.