The draws for the Boys’ and Girls’ football tournaments at the Region 5 Games Maseru 2020 took place in Johannesburg on Wednesday after several new entrants into the respective fields for the Nov. 30-Dec. 8 competitions.
Zimbabwe were late additions to the Boys’ and Girls’ events, while Namibia and Comoros also joined the latter tournament after Friday’s draw ceremony in Maseru.
“Ordinarily we would not have a situation with late entries, but for these particular competitions we feel it is justified given that our mandate is to develop football in the region, and this is a key age-group in that regard,” COSAFA General Secretary Sue Destombes said.
“For that reason, we have accepted the requests of these countries and welcome then to what we believe will be two fantastic competitions in Maseru.”
The entry of Zimbabwe took the number of teams in the Boys’ competition up to 11, which necessitated a new draw to accommodate a three-group format.
Hosts Lesotho were seeds in Group A and drawn alongside Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Madagascar, while defending champions South Africa headlined Group B along with Angola, Botswana, and Mauritius. Group C contains three teams, namely Zambia, Malawi, and Seychelles.
Only the top team and the best placed runner-up advance to the semifinals of the competition.
The field for the Girls’ competition initially had only four sides, but the addition of three more means it will now be played in a two-group format.
Last year’s losing finalists Zambia are the seeds in Group A, and are joined by Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Comoros.
South Africa headline Group B along with Mauritius and Namibia, with the top two teams in each pool to qualify for the semifinals.
There will be a new champion crowned this year after East African guest nations Uganda and Tanzania won the first two editions of the competition in 2019 and 2020.
BOYS’ UNDER-17 COMPETITION
GIRLS’ UNDER-17 COMPETITION