COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship in numbers

The COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship will be staged in Durban from March 17-23 and we round up the numbers on what has been a popular addition to the COSAFA calendar.

0 – There is no offside rule in beach soccer.

1 – Madagascar are the only previous African champions from the COSAFA region as they lifted the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations in 2015. Mozambique made the final in 2021 but lost 4-1 to Senegal.

2 – Malawi will be making their second appearance at the championships this year having finished runners-up in 2015.

2 – Beach soccer has two referees on the pitch during the game and both can make decisions.

2 – The teams in Durban are split into two pools each containing four teams. The top two sides in each pool advance to the semifinals. The group games will be played March 17, 18 and 20, with the semifinals on March 22, and the final and bronze medal match a day later.

3 – There have been three previous winners of the COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship. Madagascar claimed the inaugural title in 2015, Mozambique were champions in 2021 and west African guest nation Senegal claimed the trophy in 2022.

3 – There will be three guest nations at this year’s championship. Saudi Arabia are the first non-African team ever to compete at a COSAFA event, while they are joined by Morocco and Tanzania. The latter also competed in 2021 and 2022.

3 – Teams get three points for an outright win in the group stages. However, if the win is only achieved in over-time, they get two points. If the win is achieved via penalty-kicks, then they receive one point. There has to be a winner with no draws in beach soccer.

3 – Three teams from COSAFA have competed at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. South Africa (2005), Madagascar (2015) and Mozambique (2021) all exited in the first round.

4 – This will be the fourth edition of the COSAFA Beach Soccer Championships after it was first played in Seychelles in 2015, and the in Durban in 2021 and 2022.

5 – In beach soccer, each team can have five players on the sand at any given time. There are also seven subs on the bench and no limit as to how many subs can be used. Subs can come on and off while the ball is in play.

5.5 – The goals in beach soccer are 5.5 metres wide and 2.2 metres high.

8 – The number of participating teams this year in Durban, namely Angola, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, South Africa and Tanzania.

15 – The most goals in a single game at the COSAFA Beach Soccer Championships is 15 as Uganda defeated Mozambique 8-7 in the bronze-medal match in 2022!

19 – Mozambique’s Nelson Manuel was the leading scorer at both the 2021 COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship with six goals, and the 2022 edition, where he netted a competition record 13 goals. His career tally of 19 makes him the all-time leading scorer.

36 – A beach soccer match is split into three 12-minute periods, meaning the total length of a game is 36 minutes. The clock does stop when the ball is out of play, which makes games in reality quite a bit longer. There is a three-minute break between each period.

153 – There were a whopping 153 goals scored in 16 matches in the 2022 COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship, just shy of 10 per game.

2025 – COSAFA nation Seychelles will host the 2025 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, the first time it will be staged by an African nation! The continent will have three teams in the field, with Seychelles guaranteed as hosts.