The Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) will bring its expertise in governance and the organisation of football competitions to the Supreme Council of Sports Associationsâ€™ (SCSA) Zone VI Games in Zambia later this year.
Cosafa said in a statement on Wednesday that it will organise an 11-team international Under-17 Championship and a five-team Womenâ€™s Under-20 competition to be held in Lusaka from December 7 to 16, 2012.
These will form part of the Zone VI Games, but will also be run as the Cosafa regional championships.
The matches will be played at the Nkoloma and Sunset stadiums in Lusaka, with the draw for the competitions scheduled for the weekend of November 16 to18.
Cosafa chief operations officer Sue Destombes said they are delighted to organise the competitions and help develop youth football in the region.
“In the past, the biannual SCSA Zone VI Games have clashed with and impacted on the Cosafa Under-20 menâ€™s competition which has been an annual event.
“For this reason, Cosafa held talks with SCSA Zone VI leadership and reached an agreement that the menâ€™s football element of the biannual games be played at Under-17 level, whereas the womenâ€™s competition remain at Under-20 level.
“Furthermore, Cosafa would be responsible for the organisation of football during the Games,” read part of the statement.
FAM general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda welcomed the development, saying the Under-17 competition is vital to the development of the game in the region.
“We last had the Cosafa Under-17 Championship in 2009 after we last hosted and won it in 2001. The Under-17 tournament is very important as it gives youngsters the platform to showcase their skills,” said Nyirenda
Both football competitions will kick off on December 7.