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COSAFA Cup

Cosafa considering Fifa October dates for 2020 senior men's tournament

15:39 EAT 17/08/2020
Mothusi Johnson of Botswana challenged by Ernest Mbewe of Zambia during the 2019 Cosafa Cup final match, June 2019
The Southern African football bloc is attempting to resume its competitions amid the disruption of the international football calendar by Covid-19

Cosafa has announced it is considering staging the 2020 edition of its flagship men’s senior challenge Cup in October.

Although the regional football organisation did not mention the hosts of this year’s tournament, the last three editions have been held in South Africa.

Cosafa could now use Fifa’s October 7 to 15 international period to accommodate its flagship tournament.

Caf had reserved the October Fifa dates for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers before the international football calendar was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

While making adjustments to its 2020 tournament schedule, Cosafa also said the women’s senior championship would be held in October.

“While the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic will have on travel and quarantine restrictions remain uncertain in the coming months, the Executive [Committee] has crafted a potential blueprint for hosting competitions if conditions allow across the Cosafa region,” the regional football body said in a statement.

“The organisation [Cosafa] is also exploring the potential of hosting its flagship men’s Cosafa Cup during the October Fifa international window, while the senior Cosafa Women’s Championship has also been pencilled in for October 19-31 in Nelson Mandela Bay [South Africa].”

If the October dates for the men’s tournament sail through, it could, however, prove to be a headache for some countries where the resumption of domestic leagues remain uncertain including record six-time champions Zimbabwe.

The same scenario could also hit the women's side.

Cosafa also announced that their men’s Under-17 and Under-20 tournaments have been set for November and December after the Mauritian government gave its football association the green light to host the age-group championships.

The two tournaments serve as qualifiers for continental finals which the Under-17s would be held in Morocco in July 2021, while the Under-20 dates are yet to be decided.

“While the 2020 calendar remains uncertain given the unpredictability of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are exciting plans to add as many as three more competitions in 2021, in what will be an incredibly busy time,” Cosafa said.

The plans would bring to 10, the total of Cosafa tournaments in 2021, including the regional women's Champions League, futsal and beach soccer.

“Cosafa has applied to host a Boys Under-15 Championship in conjunction with the Uefa Assist programme, which will be timely with Caf focusing more on this age-group for their own development initiatives,” the regional football body added.

“Cosafa has also created a task team to devise plans for the Regional Women’s Champions League which the organisation hopes to stage for the first time next year, subject to funding being sourced to support this competition.”