Feature: The Cosafa Cup History

Goal South Africa takes a look at where the Cosafa Cup began and looks at some of the top PSL players that came out of this tournament

The 2013 Cosafa Cup tournament will be hosted by Zambia, one of the few Southern African countries that has significantly improved their level of football development in recent years.

This is the 14th edition of the Cosafa Cup, played by all Southern African countries. It has been known as the tournament to recruit new talent.

The first edition of the Cosafa Cup was back in 1997, and it started as a knockout competition that went on for several months, but the format changed as it grew from strength to strength.

Although there have been 13 editions in the past, the Cosafa tournament hasn't been held since Zimbabwe won it in 2009. 

The Zimbabweans are the most successful team in Cosafa, having won it on four occasions, while Zambia, South Africa and Angola are all one behind with three trophies each.

16 countries have participated in the tournament since its inception in 1997, and they include Seychelles, Reunion, Mayotte and the Comoros among others. However, all these countries have never even reached the final of this tournament, let alone winning it.

The 2002 edition was won by South Africa, and it also marked Madagascar’s debut in the tournament with Seychelles being the only Cosafa member who didn’t take part, due to financial constraints.

Mauritius caused one of the greatest shocks in the Cosafa Cup in 2004, when they defeated the strongest South African side 2-0 in their first round clash. That year Angola became the eventually winners.

Zimbabweans were victorious in 2009, beating favourites Zambia 3-1 in the final. No Cosafa tournament was held since then, as the countries were struggling to host the tournament. This year Zambia stood up to the plate to host the competition.    

The renowned players in the PSL who were spotted in the Cosafa Cup tournaments include: 

Peter Ndlovu - The retired Zimbabwean international played in the Cosafa Cup despite his reputation in Europe. He made his debut during the 1997 edition, but then did well in 2004 when he finished the tournament with four goals.

Kennedy Mweene – The Sundowns goalkeeper broke into the Zambian national team starting line-up in 2004 after impressing in the Cosafa Cup. He won the trophy with the Zambians in 2006. He won the PSL goalkeeper of the season three years later.

Teko Modise – Another Sundowns player that came out of the Cosafa Cup in 2007, and helped Bafana beat Zambia on penalties to lift the trophy. He then became famous in South African football, winning two consecutive footballer of the year awards between 2008 and 2009.

Cuthbert Malajila – The Zimbabwean striker played a major role in helping the Warriors lift the Cosafa Cup in 2009, after an impressive 3-1 win over Zambia. He later joined Martizburg United.

Katlego Mphela and Lerato Chabangu were also discovered in the Cosafa Cup tournament back in 2005, and recently participated in the 2013 Afcon in South Africa.  

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