The 15th edition of the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) cup opens its doors to players, team officials, media and fans this Sunday at the Moruleng Stadium in Northwest Province, South Africa.
A total of 14 teams, 12 member nations and two invitees, commence the battle for this year’s honours which will see the winner add R500,000 (Kshs 4m) to their coffers.
Higher ranked member states including defending champions Zambia, hosts South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique and Malawi have been given byes to the quarterfinals alongside guest nation Ghana.
Nambia, Mauritius, Seychelles and joint record-winners Zimbabwe have been drawn in Group A and will start their campaign this Sunday. Namibia will open the proceedings against Seychelles before Zimbabwe take on Mauritius at Moruleng.
Group B teams headed by Lesotho, Madagascar, Swaziland and invited Tanzania will begin their contests on Monday May 18. The top team in each pool will advance to the quarterfinals with Africa Cup on Nations losing finalists Ghana meeting winner of Group B while reigning champions Zambia will tackle Group A winners.
Mozambique versus Malawi and South Africa versus Botswana are the already decided quarterfinal clashes. The last six COSAFA Cup titles have been shared among Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe who have all won twice.
This year’s final will be played in Moruleng Stadium. Besides the R500k for the winners, R250,000 for runners up and R125,000 for the second runners-up, there will also be individual prizes for the Most Valuable Player, Golden Boot and tournament goalkeeper award whose winners will take home R20,000 (Kshs 160,000) each.
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