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Botswana Boys National U/17 Team Selection Underway

The Botswana Boys National U-17 football Technical Team led by coach, Tebogo Mokute has started the process of rebuilding a formidable squad ahead of the upcoming African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 games slated for Lesotho in December 2021.
 
The first 35 players of the 70 players earmarked by Mokute reported for camp today (Friday, 23rd April 2021) at Lekidi Football Centre in Gaborone. Mokute looks to form a solid team as most of the 2020 U-17 players have morphed into the national U-20 team.

Health officials at BFA headquarters, Lekidi Football Centre in Gaborone

 
The 35 players are from the southern regions and are expected to spend three days with the technical team, who have an arduous task of selecting the best players from the copious group.
 
Prior to today’s camp, all players were tested for COVID-19 and results are expected later today.
On Tuesday, 27 April 2021, coach Mokute will welcome yet another batch of 35 players from the Northern regions who will subsequently spend three days undergoing a rigorous selection process.
 
Following the final selection, Mokute will then hold a two-weeks camp and start working on building a solid team to represent Botswana at the upcoming tournaments and other regional games.
 
“All the players who were part of the U-17 have graduated, so basically the 70 players selected is to help us get good players from this pool and prepare a team for the Region 5/COSAFA tournament in December and we are also eyeing the next U-17 AFCON finals. Even the age group of the players is based on the criterion of these tournaments respectively,” said Mokute.
The first five days will see the technical team selecting a strong side who will then go into a full camp to find rhythm in the squad.

Health officials at BFA headquarters, Lekidi Football Centre in Gaborone

 
Mokute also highlighted that the 70 players invited for selection are from the Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) and Botswana Primary School Association (BOPSA) structures, including the Elite youth league structures.

  • Health officials at BFA headquarters, Lekidi Football Centre in Gaborone

  • Health officials at BFA headquarters, Lekidi Football Centre in Gaborone

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Draw for historic 20th edition of the COSAFA Cup set for Thursday 17th June

The draw for the 2021 COSAFA Cup will be staged in host city Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday, June 17 as preparations for the historic 20th edition of the regional showpiece competition kick into gear. The 12-team tournament will take place from July 7-18 and returns after the 2020 edition had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The draw will be live on www.cosafa.tv from 11h00, when the fate of the competing teams will be decided.

And there will be plenty of excitement with the addition of west African powerhouse Senegal to the field this year as they make a guest appearance in what is a landmark tournament for COSAFA. The COSAFA Cup has, over the years, launched the careers of a number of top stars from the region and continues to be a major driver of football development on and off the pitch for not just players, but also coaches, match officials and administrators.

The competition will take on a new format for 2021 with the 12 teams split into three groups each containing four teams. This ensures each side will play a minimum of three matches. The top team in each pool, as well as the best second-placed finisher, will advance to the semifinals. There will be no Plate competition.

Zebras will know their opponents on Thursday ahead of the virtual draw

Senegal is the top-ranked side in Africa and sit at number 22 in the world and will make their debut in COSAFA competition. Guest nations from outside the region have, over the years, provided excellent entertainment and a contrast in styles that makes for fascinating viewing. The other 10 sides confirmed so far are no strangers to the COSAFA Cup and include hosts South Africa, defending champions Zambia and record six-time winners Zimbabwe.

Others to have booked their place are Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia. The 12th team will be confirmed in the coming days with a number of interested parties. Those who are competing in the group stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that start in September will be eager to use the tournament to fine-tune their preparations for a shot at making the finals in Qatar.

The 19 previous editions of the competition have seen some great performances and incredible games that have been written into the folklore of Southern African football, but only five nations can claim to have lifted the coveted trophy. Zimbabwe (six wins) lead the way, followed by Zambia (five), South Africa (four), Angola (three) and Namibia (one).

Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana have all twice been finalists, but ended up on the losing side on both occasions. Lesotho (2000) are the only other team to reach the decider.   

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