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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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GABORONE, Botswana – The Botswana Football Association (BFA) Medical Committee has embarked on the training of compliance officers as per the Return to Play guidelines. The training,  which kicks off today, 24th June with the FRAFA in Francistown will cover all teams in BFA regions being BFL, First Divisions, RFAs leagues as well as the women’s league, and will conclude on July 4 with Tsabong RFA in Tsabong.  

Just recently, the Medical Committee chaired by Dr. Lone Bogwasi hosted a two-day Return to Play workshop aimed at ensuring that a considerable level of set health precautions is always upheld and to support all teams in the BFA structures, making sure they are capacitated, speak one language of β€˜hygiene, prevention and prompt recognition’.

β€œThe medical profession and the country will look onto us and football to ensure outmost safety of the players during their engagement in footballing activities. A multi-disciplinary approach is needed in our engagement to ensure a holistic approach to caring for the athlete to enable a conducive environment for them to excel,” said Dr. Lone Bogwasi recently.

The committee further seeks to identify areas of need by the football association as well as develop policies regarding sports medical matters locally, amongst them, aspects of sports medicine, nutrition, psychology, sports science including continuous education and research which are part of the evolving field of football medicine.

The BFA Medical Committee include Mpho Bogopa, Dr. Monkgogi Thakgathi, Aldrin Majaye, Kitso Dlamini, Golekanye Morutwa, Kaelo Kgosieyang, Dr. Mwamba Nsebula, Tshepo Makete and Tiroyaone Otimile, and is chaired by Dr. Lone Bagwasi.

β€œWe wish to inform you that through the Medical Committee, we will be embarking on the training of compliance officers as per the Return to Play guidelines. You are therefore requested to invite one medical personnel from each team in your region to attend the workshop. You are further requested to source venue for the workshop as per the training schedule below,” said the BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone G. Taylor today.

β€œThe trainings will be conducted by members of the BFA Medical Committee. You are therefore requested to liaise with the Office of the General Manager, Football Operations and the Regional Coordinator for purposes of coordination of the workshop,” added Taylor.

TRAINING SCHEDULE – FIRST DIVISION NORTH, EASTERN & NOTHERN BLOCKS

24th June – FRAFA – Francistown

25th June – Selibe- Phikwe RFA – Selibe Phikwe

26th June – Tswapong, CNRFA & CSRFA – Palapye

27 June – Boteti RFA – Letlhakane

29th June – Nhabe – Maun

3rd July – Chobe – Kasane

TRAINING SCHEDULE – FIRST DIVISION SOUTH, WESTERN & SOUTHERN BLOCKS

29th June – Gaborone City RFA – Gaborone

30th June – BFL, 1st Div. South & SERFA – Gaborone

1st July – SORFA – Kanye

2nd July – Kgatleng RFA – Rasesa

2nd July –  Gantsi RFA – Gantsi

3rd July – Kang & Hukuntsi RFAs – Kang

3rd July – Kweneng RFA – Molepolole

4th July – Tsabong RFA – Tsabong

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