Defending champions Madagascar will open the 2021 COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship when they take on fancied Angola in their Group A encounter at Durban’s South Beach Arena at 10h00 CAT on Wednesday.
The match is the first in the five-day competition that will culminate on Sunday when the winners are crowned, with the event having returned to the calendar after it was first staged in 2015.
The second match in Group A sees South Africa take on Seychelles at 11h30 CAT, before the opening encounter in Group B between Mozambique and Comoros Islands at 15h30 CAT.
The action will continue on Thursday and Friday, before the semifinals and finals are both played on Sunday. Only the top two teams in each pool advance to the knockout rounds.
COSAFA General Secretary Sue Destombes is delighted the competition will be played after an absence of six years, admitting it was not easy to get it back on the calendar.
“We have been through a lot to get to where we are, we are delighted that it is coming to fruition,” COSAFA General Secretary Sue Destombes says.
“When I went to the beach and saw the scaffolding coming up for the arena, it hit home that the beach soccer is going to be taking place. The draw puts it all together, outlining the groups.
“It is coming together nicely, and we are looking forward to the kick-off on Wednesday, It is step one on the initial journey of three years because we will be back in here in host city Durban 2022 and 2023.
“Hopefully by then this tournament will become a qualifier or the CAF Beach Soccer Cup of Nations, that is our aim. We have put the peg in the ground, now we grow from here.”
All games will be live on COSAFA.TV.