This will be the fifth year in a row that the COSAFA Women’s Championship has been held, a sign once more of COSAFA’s commitment to the development of the women’s game in the region.
The tournament will be hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay from September 15-26, providing the perfect opportunity for teams to fine-tune their preparations for the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier that start the following month.
0 – The number of fans that will be allowed into the venues. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic means there are strict bio-secure measures in place, which means no fans in the stands.
1 – The number of COSAFA sides that have qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup … South Africa became the first when they made their debut in France in 2019!
1 – Zambia made their maiden appearance in the COSAFA Women’s Championship final in 2019, but lost 1-0 to hosts South Africa. Previously they had finished third at the tournament on three occasions (2002, 2006, 2017).
2 – The number of nations who have won the African Women’s Championship. Nigeria have 11 titles and Equatorial Guinea two. Nigeria edged South Africa again in 2018 when they defeated Banyana Banyana on penalties following a 0-0 draw in the final. The 2020 finals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
3 – Namibia (2006), Angola (2008) and Botswana (2020) have all appeared in the final of the COSAFA Women’s Championship before but have yet to lift the trophy.
3 – The number of guest nations that will be appearing in Nelson Mandela Bay this year. We welcome Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan to the field, each bringing their own unique style and quality.
4 – The three groups in this year’s competition will each contain four sides. Only the top nation and the best-placed runner-up advance to the semifinals.
4 – South Africa will be hosting the COSAFA Women’s Championship for the fourth time. Zimbabwe (2002, 2011, 2017) have hosted on three previous occasions, with Zambia (2006) and Angola (2008) staging the event once each.
4 – This is also the fourth year in a row that the COSAFA Women’s Championship will be played in Nelson Mandela Bay, which has become a happy home for COSAFA’s flagship women’s competition.
4 – South Africa coach Desiree Ellis has lifted the COSAFA Women’s Championship trophy on four occasions (2017-20), making her the most successful coach in the competition’s history. She will be hoping to make it five this year!
6 – The number of COSAFA countries that have competed at the African Women’s Championship in the past – South Africa (12 times), Zimbabwe (four), Zambia (three), Angola (two), Namibia and Mozambique. Associate member Reunion also made an appearance in 2000.
6 – The number of goals scored by Zambia striker Barbra Banda at the recent Tokyo Olympic Games! That included hat-tricks against Netherlands and China.
7 – South Africa have won the COSAFA Women’s Championship on seven previous occasions – 2002, 2006, 2008, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. They also made the final in 2011 but lost to hosts Zimbabwe.
8 – The leading scorer in last year’s competition was South Africa’s Sibulele Holweni, who netted eight goals, one more than Malawi’s Tabitha Chawinga.
9 – This year’s COSAFA Women’s Championship will be the ninth time the regional showpiece competition has been held, all since the inaugural event in 2002.
10 – Zimbabwean hot-shot Rutendo Makore was top-scorer at the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship with 10 goals but could not fire her side to a final win. It was a similar story for Zambia’s Racheal Nachula, who also netted 10 times in 2019, but finished with a silver medal.
12 – The number of teams that will compete at the COSAFA Women’s Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay this year, namely Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
12 – South African striker Noko Matlou banged in 12 goals in the 2008 COSAFA Women’s Championship, which helped her lift the CAF Women’s Footballer of the Year prize that season. Remarkably, she is still part of the team but is now a central defender.
17 – The number of goals scored by South Africa when they defeated Comoros 17-0 in their Group A clash in 2019. It is the biggest win in COSAFA Women’s Championship history.
31 – The number of goals scored by South Africa in their three COSAFA Women’s Championship Group B matches in 2002. They beat Botswana (14-0), Mozambique (13-0) and Swaziland (4-0) on their way to the title. It is the most ever scored in the pool stages.
55 – South Africa are the top-ranked side in the COSAFA region according to the FIFA Women’s World Rankings at number 55. They are the third best team in Africa according to the list after Nigeria and Cameroon.
64 – The number of goals scored in 15 matches at the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship, a healthy average of over four per game! Only 10 teams were able to take part last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so there will be more games, and more goals, this year.
167 – The number of national teams on the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. A total of 33 of those are from Africa.