Regulations for the CAF Women’s Champions League | COSAFA Qualifiers 2023

The CAF Women’s Champions League | COSAFA Qualifiers 2023 will be staged in Durban from Aug. 30-Sept. 8, where the battle for the title of regional kings will be fought once more.

There will be eight clubs competing this year, split into two groups of four. Here is a quick run-down of the major criteria you need to remember.

Coaches will be able to select a preliminary squad of 30 players, which must be cut down to 21 for the final tournament in Durban. The final squad is due to be submitted by August 23.

The eight teams have been drawn into two groups of four sides. They will meet in a round-robin format, earning three points for a win and one for a draw. The top two sides in each pool advance to the semifinals, with the winner of Group A facing the runner-up in Group B, and vice-versa. This year will see a record number of entrants with seven teams competing in 2021 and six in 2022.

Should two or more teams finish on the same number of points in the pool phase, they will be separated by the result of their head-to-head meetings in the first instance. If this does not provide a conclusion, the next criteria will be goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned and then greater number of goals scored in all the group matches between the teams concerned. If there is still no clear winner, then goal-difference in all group matches and finally a Fair Play points system in which the number of yellow and red cards are evaluated will be used. Failing that there will be the drawing of lots.

The Fair Play System works as follows. Clubs will get one point for each yellow card shown to a player in the group matches. They will get two points for every red card. Where a player receives a red card in a match, any yellow card received in the same match will not be counted. If this criterion is needed to separate two teams on the table, the club with the fewest points holds the advantage.

If a player receives two yellow cards in the tournament, he will be suspended for one match. However, bookings picked up in the group phase fall away ahead of the knockout phase, unless they receive two yellows in the final pool stage game, in which case the suspension is carried over. If a player receives a red card in a game, he will also serve a one-match suspension. If a player received two red cards in the tournament, he will be suspended for the remainder of the competition and play no further part.

There will be no extra-time played in the semifinals or the third-place play-off and tied matches will go straight to penalties. However, the final will have two 15-minute periods of extra-time if the match is all-square after 90 minutes. Should there still be no winner, then penalties will decide who lifts the trophy.

Teams may make up to five substitutions in a game, though these must be limited to three separate occasions within the match (not including halftime). In the event of extra time, one additional substitution may be made.