Cosafa Youth champs should be World Cup curtain-raisers – Safa

2009-11-13 12:15

SOUTH African Football Association (Safa) president Kirsten

Nematandani has expressed his desire to see Cosafa Youth Championship being

played as the curtain-raiser to the World Cup.

Speaking at the launch of the annual youth tournament in

Johannesburg, Nematandani said it would make sense for this event to preceed the

World Cup next year.

The event, which pits 12 countries, will take place from December 6

to 13 at three venues – Dobsonville, Eldorado Park and Meadowlands stadiums.

“If Fifa statutes allowed, I would have loved to see this

tournament being played before the World Cup next year to give our youngsters

more exposure,” Nematandani said.

Cosafa honorary vice-president Adam Mthethwa, who was also amongst

the dignitaries, shared Nematandani’s views and urged countries to focus more on

youth development.

“We need a tournament like this to develop and nurture talent that

we have in the region,” he said.

“Through them we can see the countries from

Cosafa doing well in the continental competition,” the former president of

Swaziland Football Association (SFA) added.

After a successful tournament in Kimberley (Northern Cape) last

year, Bloemfontein was an intended destination for this year’s showpiece, but it

was not to be as organisers and the Mangaung municipality, could not reach an

agreement.

“We had meetings with the city officials and they only confirmed to

us that they were not able to host the tournament last month. That was when we

decided to bring it to Johannesburg,” Metropolitan group brand manager

Cristabell Kota said.

Into its fourth year partnership with Metropolitan, the tournament

has produced exciting players like Clifford Mulenga (Zambia) and Knowledge

Musona (Zimbabwe) who are now household names in the Premier Soccer League

(PSL).

South Africa’s midfielder Philani Khwela was voted the Player of

the Tournament last year for his performance which steered his team to glory

while Musona walked away with a top-goalscorer award.


Amajita, who will be under the guidance of Maqsood Chenai and

under-17 coach Solly Luvhengo, will start the defence of their title against

Namibia, followed by Seychelles in Group A.


Other groups


Group B

•Mozambique

•Madagascar

•Swaziland


Group C

•Zimbabwe

•Botswana

•Lesotho


Group D

•Angola

•Zambia

•Mauritius
 

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