new format for cosafa

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

The Comoros Islands will feature for the first time in the 12th edition of the Cosafa Senior Challenge in Mpumalanga from July 17 to August 5.

This was revealed yesterday at the launch and draw of the tournament in Nelspruit.

Fourteen countries from the region will participate. The tournament, which moved away from its previous knockout format, was divided into two stages.

Ashford Mamelodi, Cosafa executive secretary, said: "The top six teams, as determined by the latest Fifa rankings, will be given a bye directly into the quarterfinals, leaving the bottom eight countries in the rankings to fight for the remaining two places in the quarterfinals."

The six were South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The other eight contestants were divided into two groups and will play each other in a league format from July 19 to 24.

Madagascar, Swaziland, Mauritius and Seychelles were drawn in Group A while Group B comprises Comoros, Malawi, Lesotho and Namibia.

The group winners advance to the quarterfinals.

Amabinneplaas, the South African national development soccer side,will face the Group B winners in the first quarterfinal on Juy 26 at Atlantic Stadium at 3pm. Angola will take on the Group A champions in the other quarterfinal at 5:30pm at the same venue.

The other quarters take place at Lillian Ngoyi Stadium in Secunda on July 27, where Zimbabwe face Zambia (3pm) and Botswana play Mozambique (5:30pm).