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Senegal confirmed as 2021 Cosafa Cup guest participants

1:06 AM MYT 16/06/2021
Senegal win 2019 Wafu Cup of Nations
The regional football competition returns after it was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic

African football powerhouse Senegal have been named as guest contestants at this year’s Cosafa Cup tournament. 

It will be the 20th edition of the Cosafa Cup which will be staged in Gqeberha from July 7 to 18. 

The draw for the tournament is expected to be held on Thursday with 12 teams participating.  

“And there will be plenty of excitement with the addition of West African powerhouse Senegal to the field this year as they make a guest appearance in what is a landmark tournament for Cosafa,” said Cosafa in a statement. 

“Senegal is the top-ranked side in Africa and sit at number 22 in the world and will make their debut in Cosafa competition. Guest nations from outside the region have, over the years, provided excellent entertainment and a contrast in styles that makes for fascinating viewing.”

No guest participants have won the Cosafa Cup before but Wafu Cup of Nations reigning champions Senegal could be fancying making history in Southern Africa. 

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. 

This year’s Cosafa Cup has a new format and so far 11 teams have confirmed their participation as Madagascar and Mauritius have not yet committed to take part. 

But the regional football governing body says “the 12th team will be confirmed in the coming days with a number of interested parties.” 

“The competition will take on a new format for 2021 with the 12 teams split into three groups each containing four teams. This ensures each side will play a minimum of three matches,” Cosafa said.

“The top team in each pool, as well as the best second-placed finisher, will advance to the semi-finals. There will be no Plate competition.”

Uganda were guest participants at the last edition of Cosafa.

Next month’s competition will see some teams using it to prepare for September’s Fifa World Cup qualifiers as Zimbabwe did in 2019 to gear up for the Africa of Nations finals.