The draw for the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League | COSAFA Qualifiers will be held in Johannesburg on Thursday at 11h00 as eight teams learn their fate in the race for a place at the continental finals in Ivory Coast later this year.
The competition will be staged in Durban, South Africa from Aug. 30-Sept. 8 and is the third staging of the regional championship after it was first held in 2021.
South African side Mamelodi Sundowns were the inaugural winners as they defeated Black Rhinos Queens in the final and then went on to claim continental gory by lifting the trophy in the maiden CAF Women’s Champions League that was held in Egypt.
Zambian side Green Buffaloes were the second winners in 2022, edging Sundowns on penalties in the final as both teams qualified for the continental finals.
They will be in the field again this year as the top two seeds, heading up Groups A and B.
Double Action Ladies (Botswana) and Olympic De Moroni (Comoros) also return for another year. Double Action have appeared in both previous installments and reached the semifinals on both occasions. In fact, these two teams met for the bronze medal in 2022 with the Botswana side running out 3-0 winners. Last year was a debut for Olympic De Moroni.
The four other clubs in the field in 2023 are Young Buffaloes (Eswatini), Lesotho Defence Force (Lesotho), Ntopwa FC (Malawi) and Costa Do Sol (Mozambique).
Young Buffaloes return for a second year having lost both pool games in 2022, while Lesotho Defence Force played in the inaugural competition in 2021 and took a single point from their three pool games.
Costa Do Sol are back for a second year in a row having lost both games in 2022, while Malawi’s Ntopwa FC make their debut and are the first club from that country to play in the competition.
The top two teams in each of the pools will advance to the semifinals, with just the competition winner advancing to represent the region at the continental finals.
There were two teams in 2022 as Sundowns qualified as holders and Green Buffaloes as regional winners.
But as Morocco’s AS FAR are the African holders, the UNAF region will have two teams this year. The finals are scheduled to be held in Ivory Coast from November 5-19. Local side Athlético FC d’Abidjan join AS Far as the two teams confirmed in the field so far.