Cosafa Thrills Set for May

THE 2015 COSAFA Senior Challenge Cup has been set for May in South Africa and champions Zambia will know their opponents on Thursday when the draw is conducted.
Zambia staged and won the last edition in 2013 but last year the prestigious regional football tournament could not be held due to logistical reasons by potential hosts.
South Africa took up the challenge to host this year’s event in the North-West Province from May 17 to 31 where 12 Southern African nations have so far confirmed participation.
The Comoros Island withdrew from participating in this year’s competition while Angola is yet to confirm its availability.
Apart from availing teams an opportunity to field their best players, this year’s tournament will also act as a good preparatory platform for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers which kick-off in June.
The draw for the 2015 tournament will take place in Johannesburg on Thursday and will be broadcast live on SuperSport 4 from 18:00 hours.
COSAFA will use the 2013 format where lower eight participating nations according to the February FIFA Rankings will compete in the first round, and will be drawn into two groups each comprising four teams.
The top team in each group will advance to the knockout stage of the tournament, where the six higher ranked sides will join the tournament from the quarterfinals onwards.
A plate competition will be held for the teams knocked out in the quarter-finals on the main event to ensure each side plays multiple matches.
COSAFA president, Suketu Patel said the regional tournament was a crucial component for the development of football in Southern Africa and saluted South Africa for staging the 2015 event in world-class facilities.
“The regional senior championship is a crucial component for the development of football in Southern Africa and we are delighted to be staging the event in South Africa this year and using the world-class facilities of the North West province,” Patel said in a Press Statement released by COSAFA yesterday.