- Category: National Sports
- Written by Garry Chirwa
With the Flamesâ€™ failure to qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, focus is likely to shift to other countries in the Cosafa bloc.
Only three teams from the region, including hosts South Africa, have qualified for the finals to be staged early next year.
The others are reigning champions Zambiaâ€™s Chipolopolo and Angolaâ€™s Negras Palancas.
Cosafa president Suketu Patel on Monday said the development is an indication that Cosafa teams still have a long way to go to Afcon finals..
â€œOf course, it is good that one of our members [Zambia] are the reigning champions, but when you look at how they scrapped through against Uganda, then it does not look good,â€ said Patel.
Zambia sneaked their way to the finals after edging Uganda Cranes 9-8 through penalty shoot-outs. After two legs, the teams tied 1-1 on aggregate.
Patel also said there is urgent need to revive the Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup that could play a big role in preparing teams in the region for the continental tournaments.
Celebrated former Flames midfielder Ernest â€˜Wireâ€™ Mtawali said the development is an indication that West and North African teams still rule on the continent.
Apart from South Africa, Zambia and Angola the other teams that have qualified are Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cote dâ€™Ivoire, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Togo and Tunisia.