Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) is set to revise its 2020 calendar in response to the coronavirus pandemic which has led to the suspension of sporting activities globally.
Cosafa deputy chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda, who is responsible for competitions, confirmed the development in an interview yesterday.
“Decisions on the new calendar will be made in May. We need to get clearance from authorities [Confederation of African Football] first,” he said.
Just like last year, Cosafa lined up six competitions for 2020, starting with the suspended under-17 women’s football tournament which was slated for Port Louis in Mauritius this month.
The Cosafa Senior Championship was next on the menu in Durban, South Africa, from June 13 to 27.Championship was next on the
Malawi was scheduled to host the men’s under 17 tournament between July 22 and August 1 while South Africa was to host the women’s senior championship from September 11 to 23 in Port Elizabeth.
Last on the calendar was women’s under-20 championship in Maseru, Lesotho from December 3-12 and the men’s under-20 in Mauritius in December as well.
When releasing the 2020 calendar, Cosafa had also indicated plans to stage a women’s under-17 beach soccer and men’s Futsal competition in October at venues and dates yet to be determined, subject to confirmation.
However, it is not clear whether the competitions will fit in the proposed new calendar.
Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu said the association will wait for communication from Cosafa on the dates for the hosting of the Under-17 tournament.
“It is very unlikely that the Cosafa Under-17 Youth Championship will be held in July as the calendar is bound to change locally and internationally. Cosafa will advise in due course,” he said.
Malawi also hosted the 2019 Cosafa Championship in Blantyre which Zambia won.
The Junior Flames missed the semi-finals after finishing third in the group that had Zambia, eSwatini and South Africa.
The Junior Flames beat South Africa 3-0 but went on to lose to eSwatini (2-1) and Zambia (3-2), to become the first hosts to bow out of the competition in group stages since 2016.
In 2018, Malawi for the first time since 2001 did not make it to the semi-finals despite wins over Zimbabwe (5-0) and e-Swatini (1-0) and a loss to Angola.
The hosts Mauritius were booted out in semi-finals by South Africa