The historic 2021 TOTALENERGIES CAF Women’s Champions League | COSAFA Qualifier will open a new chapter for football in the Southern African region and reflects COSAFA’s continued commitment to the growth of the women’s game.
The inaugural tournament will provide some of the best clubs in the region with the opportunity to be crowned champions of Southern Africa and test their skills on the continental stage in the TOTALENERGIES CAF Women’s Champions League.
Here is a look at some of the key numbers around the competition.
1 – This will be the first ever COSAFA Women’s Champions League competition, as well as the first time COSAFA have staged a club tournament.
1 – The winner of the competition will advance to the inaugural TOTALENERGIES CAF Women’s Champions League that is set to be staged in Cairo, Egypt later in the year.
1 – The ‘number one’ at Lesotho Defence Force, coach Lengana Nkhethoa, is a former defender with the men’s senior national team. He was recently recruited from the LDF men’s team to lead the ladies’ side.
1 – Botswana side Double Action Ladies have been out of action for over a year due to COVID-19 but assistant coach Mathogonolo Serumola says they will be ready for the COSAFA tournament.
2 – The competition has been split into two groups, one with four teams and the other with three. The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals.
7 – The number of teams that will be competing in the tournament – Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Lesotho Defence Force (Lesotho), Double Action Ladies (Botswana), Manzini Wanderers (Eswatini), Green Buffaloes (Zambia), Black Rhinos Queens (Zimbabwe) and TURA Magic (Namibia).
8 – The TOTALENERGIES CAF Women’s Champions League is set to have eight teams from across the continent, including one from the COSAFA region.
11 – TURA Magic vice-captain Lydiana Amamus started playing football at the age of 11, a perfect example of why girls should be introduced to the game as early as possible.
14 – COSAFA General Secretary Sue Destombes says she hopes all 14 member nations will send teams to compete in the 2022 edition of the competition, once the COVID-19 situation in the region has settled.
26 – The tournament will get under way on August 26, with the final to be staged on September 4.
2005 – Black Rhinos Queens were formed in 2005 and have been champions of Zimbabwe ever since! The majority of the national players come from the team.
2009 – The captain of Eswatini side Manzini Wanderers, Precious Zwane, has been with the club for the last 12 years!
2009 – South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies were founded in 2009 by then club owner Dr Patrice Motsepe, which was ground-breaking for a professional club in the country. Dr Motsepe has since become CAF President and has continued to champion women’s football.
2014 – Zambian side Green Buffaloes have won their provincial competition every season since 2014, bar last year which was disrupted by COVID-19. The Football Association of Zambia have now introduced a national league for 2021.
2019 – FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced in 2019 that he intended to create a FIFA Women’s Club World Cup “as soon as possible”. The COSAFA competition would be the start of that journey for teams from the region, who would then qualify for the continental finals and ultimately the global event.