Cosafa Cup: Caf regulations brings about squad number changes

Bafana Bafana players celebrate Victor Letsoalo's goal, South Africa vs Lesotho, Cosafa Cup, July 2021Backpagepix

Teams taking part in the Cosafa Cup competition have a reason to smile after the organisers increased squad sizes in line with Caf's new regulations.

Initially, countries were allowed to have 20 players for the annual competition, but this will change to 23, starting from the next edition that will be played in Durban, South Africa from July 5-17.

The organisers have argued the decision was reached to allow technical benches to expand their options during the tournament.

"The squads had previously been limited to 20 players, but in line with the Confederation of African Football practice of allowing 23 members at their major competitions, Cosafa have followed suit," read a statement from the body.

"That will allow coaches to expand their options, especially as they may now also use five substitutes during matches in line with new regulations implemented by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) that will make the trend global from next season, should competitions wish to implement it."

in the group stage, Angola, Comoros, Seychelles and Botswana are in Group A, while Group B has Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius and Eswatini.

The winner in each group will advance to the quarter-final.

In the last eight, South Africa will play Mozambique while Madagascar will rub shoulders with Namibia.

Group A winner from the first phase will play the Chipolopolo of Zambia with Senegal facing the Group B winner.

South Africa preliminary squad

Goalkeepers: Lincoln Vyver (Cape Town Spurs), Bontle Molefe (Kaizer Chiefs), Smandla Nzimela (AmaZulu), Lebohang Nthene (Stellenbosch), Lindokuhle Ndyenga (Bush Pirates, Eastern Cape).

Defenders: Sbonele Cele (Golden Arrows), Athenkosi Mcaba (Stellenbosch), Kamogelo Mahlangu, (TS Galaxy), Keegan Johannes (SuperSport United), Zuko Madunyelwa (Chippa United), Siyanda Msani (University of Pretoria), Wayne Dortley (Cape Town Spurs), Liam de Kock (Stellenbosch), Khulekani Shezi (Royal AM), Nelson Ralenkoane (Orlando Pirates), Simanyi Sajani (Bush Pirates)

Midfielders: Jayden Adams (Stellenbosch), Ethan Brooks (Galaxy), Sydney Malivha, Dan Ndlovu (both Baroka FC), Selaelo Rasebotja, Thapelo Maseko (both SuperSport United), Rowan Human (Maritzburg United), Kagiso Shezi (Uthongathi), Chumani Busaka (Cape Town Spurs), Sifiso Mbidana (Bizana Pondo Chiefs)

Strikers: Ntiyiso Bombi, Thuso Mogale (both Baroka), Azola Matrose (Chippa United), Antonio van Wijk (Stellenbosch), Keletso Sifama (Chiefs), Boitumelo Radiopane (Pirates), Hamilton Khohlakala (Bazuka United, Western Cape)