The CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier, Zimbabwe 2023 will bring together the best schools footballers in the Southern African region with the sole aim of qualifying their country for the continental finals next year.
It will not only be a spectacular celebration of schools football, but also a superb learning opportunity for young players, most of who will be competing on the international stage for the first time.
We round up the numbers behind the tournament.
0 – There is no limit to the number of substitutes that can be used in a game at the tournament. All substitutes must be used at some stage in all the group matches so that each player is given an opportunity to play.
1 – Each competing team must have a safe-guarding officer as part of their delegation. This is an important aspect of the tournament, which is also used to educate students about life skills.
1 – Each competing team will also have with them a young referee with the group to help them gain experience in an international competition.
2 – Zimbabwe are the second host of the CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier. Malawi staged the tournament in the inaugural year in 2022.
3 – In the pool phase, the teams will get three points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss., If two teams are tied on points at the end of the pool phase, they will be separated by head-to-head results between them, then goal-difference in all group games, number of goals scored and finally the drawing of lots.
4 – The tournament will utilise four pitches, meaning at any one time there could be four games on the go, a feast of viewing!
8 – The Girls’ tournament will see eight players per side compete on a half-size pitch.
11 – The number of COSAFA nations who will be sending teams this year – Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and hosts Zimbabwe. All nations must field both Boys’ and Girls’ teams.
11 – The Boys’ tournament will see 11 players per side compete on a full-size pitch.
14 – This year’s CAF African Schools Football Championship | COSAFA Qualifier will get under way on December 14, with the final in Harare two days later.
15 – Both the Boys’ and the Girls’ tournaments are in the Under-15 age group. It means all players must have been born on or after January 1, 2009.
15 – The squads in the Girls’ tournament can contain up to 15 players. Only students who took part in the national phase shall be eligible to participate in the zonal and continental phase.
20 – The matches in both the Boys’ and Girls’ tournaments are 20 minutes per half with a 10-minute halftime break.
20 – The squads in the Boys’ tournament can contain up to 20 players. Only students who took part in the national phase shall be eligible to participate in the zonal and continental phase.
2024 – The continental finals, with the winners from each of the six CAF zones, will take place next year.