Malawi women’s national football teams will today go into the pot for the 2019 Council for Southern Africa Football (Cosafa) women’s tournaments.
Cosafa will hold draws for the seniors tournament and Under-20 Youth Championship at the regional football governing body’s offices in Johannesburg.
The tournaments will be held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa from July 31 to August 11 .
South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, Comoros, Mauritius, Angola, Eswatini, Madagascar will participate in the seniors tournament.
Defending champions South Africa, Zambia, who qualified for CAF Women’s Championship last year and 2017 runners-up Zimbabwe will be seeded, according to Cosafa deputy chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda, who is responsible for competitions.
“South Africa will head Group A; Zambia will head group B while Zimbabwe will head group C. Pot one will have Botswana, Namibia, Malawi and Mozambique because of their last year’s performance while Pot two will have Madagascar, Mauritius, E-swatini, Angola and Comoros.
“So, the procedure is that after drawing from Pot one, the selected teams will populate A2, B2 and C2. One ball remaining from Pot one will be placed together with the five balls in Pot two to populate A3, B3 and C3 as well as A4, B4 and C4 to form three groups of four teams each,” said Nyirenda.
Eight teams will compete in the inaugural Under-20 tourney.
Botswana, E-swatini, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi are the sides confirmed.
“South Africa is seeded as hosts and winners of Region VI Under-20 girls competition last year in Botswana, so they will head Group A. Botswana will be in Group B for being the finalists in that competition. The teams to be in the pot will be Eswatini, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and guests Tanzania. So, both groups will have four teams watch,” he said.
Malawi confirmed for the Under-20 tourney at the eleventh hour.
“Initially, they opted to participate in the Under-17 Youth Championship. But it seems they now want to be part of the Under-20,” Nyirenda said.
National Women’s Football Association (NWFA)chairperson Suzgo Ngwira said they have an Under-20 team ready to participate in the juniors tournament.
“This is the same team that participated at the Region VI games in Botswana last year,” she said.
Senior national team coach Abel Mkandawire said they want to use the Cosafa Cup to prepare for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) 2022 Olympic Games second round qualifer against Kenya in August.