Maseru 2020 Region 5 Games football draws amended
MASERU – The Maseru 2020 Region 5 Games football draws were revised on Wednesday in Johannesburg, South Africa, following a late request from Zimbabwe, Namibia and Comoros to be entered into the competition scheduled for the November 30 until December 8 tournament.
This adjustment now puts the Under-17 boys’ teams at six, requiring two pools. Zimbabwe were late additions to the boys’ and girls’ events, while Namibia and Comoros also joined the tournament after Friday’s draw ceremony in Maseru.
“Ordinarily we would not have a situation with late entries, but for these particular competitions we feel it is justified given that our mandate is to develop football in the region, and this is a key age-group in that regard,” COSAFA General Secretary, Sue Destombes said.
“For that reason, we have accepted the requests of these countries and welcome them to what we believe will be two fantastic competitions in Maseru.”
The entry of Zimbabwe took the number of teams in the boys’ competition up to 11, which necessitated a new draw to accommodate a three-group format.
Hosts Lesotho were seeds in Group A and drawn alongside eSwatini, Zimbabwe and Madagascar, while defending champions, South Africa headlined Group B along with Angola, Botswana, and Mauritius. Group C contains three teams, namely Zambia, Malawi, and Seychelles.
Only the top team and the best placed runners-up advance to the semi-finals of the competition. The field for the girls’ competition initially had only four sides, but with the addition of three more means it will now be played in a two-group format.
Last year’s losing finalists Zambia are the seeds in Group A, and are joined by Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Comoros. South Africa lead Group B along with Mauritius and Namibia, with the top two teams in each pool to qualify for the semi-finals.
There will be a new champion crowned this year after East African guest nations, Uganda and Tanzania won the first two editions of the competition in 2019 and 2020.
Region 5 Organising Committee Chairperson Stanley Mutoya told Public Eye’s sister publication, Metro, that football will be played at Setsoto Stadium – which is currently under construction.
He further said the contractor promised that by the end of November, the installation of the athletics track will have been completed and the facility ready for use.
“The contractor mentioned that if he completes the field track on time, he will also install the new artificial turf, but if he finishes late, we will use the currently installed turf as it is still in good condition,” he noted. COSAFA/Metro