Cosafa Cup: Senegal are here to take the trophy – Diatta

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Senegal have sent a clear warning to their rivals that they will take part in the 2021 Cosafa Cup with one mission – to lift the trophy.

This year’s edition will take place July 6 to 18 at Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa and the West Africans have been drawn in Group C along with six-time winners Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and 2015 champions Namibia, with only the top team guaranteed a place in the semi-finals.

Despite being pooled in a tough pool, Senegal's head of delegation for the trip, Sam Diatta, has stated they are not coming to the tournament as tourists but they only have one goal in mind – to return home with the trophy.

“A guest should be hungry when they come to your place and we are definitely hungry,” Diatta told The Cosafa Show as quoted by the official website.

“We like these kinds of situations, being invited and then to go and take the trophy. We are not coming as tourists, we are coming to fight and play.

“We want to show that no matter the players we bring; we will show the image of Senegal. And in Senegal, talent is not a question, we have so many talented players (in the local league).

“You could bring even four teams to South Africa and each would represent the country (well) in that tournament. We are going as a hungry team to show people we can do something good.

“We are going to play good football and fight to take the trophy.”

The Lions of Teranga will take part in the competition as a guest team and in the history of the cup, no guest participants have won it before.

The reigning Wafu Cup of Nations champions, who be without the services of Sadio Mane or Idrissa Gueye, and have picked a relatively young squad, could be fancying making history in Southern Africa. 

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Zambia are the defending champions after winning their fifth Cosafa title in 2019 to get closer to Zimbabwe, who are record holders after winning it six times.

Senegal will kick off their campaign with a match against Namibia on July 8 then face Mozambique on July 11, and wind up their preliminary matches with a date against Zimbabwe on July 14.

Uganda were guest participants at the last edition.