The Council of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) have confirmed that it has cancelled its senior men’s tournament for 2020.
COSAFA still expressed the hope of hosting four other tournaments this year.
“Cosafa remains optimistic of hosting four of its six scheduled tournaments in 2020, a year that has seen the football calendar severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The organization has been working round the clock in preparation for the events scheduled for this year but remains reliant on the go-ahead from governments across the region.
“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes during the Covid-19 pandemic to try and realise our goals of hosting these events to continue our mandate of developing Southern African football on and off the pitch,” Cosafa general secretary Sue Destombes says.
“But we are completely reliant on conditions being favourable and obviously that is out of our control. What we can promise is that health and safety protocols will be in place, as well as utilising practices from the experiences of the South African Football Association, who successfully completed their 2019-20 league season.”
There have been encouraging signs in recent weeks as the South African government has re-opened the countries borders to African countries and also confirmed the restart of international sporting events.
The COSAFA Women’s Championship in South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay is now scheduled for November 3-14 with South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Comoros, Angola and Malawi already confirmed to take part in the competition, while Eswatini and Namibia are waiting for their governments approval to travel.
Mauritius remain a doubt to participate in the competition. Madagascar, Seychelles and Mozambique have declined, Lesotho are yet to commit to taking part, while Kenya have requested a guest place in the tournament.
The COSAFA Women’s U17 Championship is also scheduled to be held at the Nelson Mandela Bay at the same time as the senior tournament, but in a reduced format with four to six teams participating.
Therefore, both zonal qualifiers that provide Southern Africa’s entrants into the continental finals of the U17 and U20 Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions to be played next year.
The host city for the COSAFA Men’s U17 Championship is yet to be determined, but the competition is set to be played in South Africa from November 19-29. The two finalists of the competition will qualify for the continental finals in Morocco on July 2021.
The men’s U20 Championship will be hosted now by South Africa from December 3-13 after Mauritius withdrew from hosting the tournament due to the current coronavirus regulations.
Twelve nations have confirmed their participation, though Seychelles and Madagascar, who will not take part in any Cosafa events in 2020, have declined the invitation. Mauritius have also yet to confirm if they will take part.
West Brom Manager Bilic Unhappy With Hegazi’s Al-Ittihad Move
Manager of West Bromwich Albion Slaven Bilic has stated how disappointed he is with the transfer of Ahmed Hegazi to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad.
Hegazi made the move to Al-Ittihad on a loan deal, but will sign on a permanent deal at the end of the 2020-2021 season.
The Egyptian defender made the move to West Brom from Egyptian Premier League side Al Ahly in 2017, and has made 104 appearances across all competitions.
Hegazi played an important role as West Brom gained promotion to the English Premier League as he made 14 starts for the club.
Bilic has talked about his frustration after West Brom signed off the loan move that took Hegazi away from the Hawthorns.
“He has experience. He is a top professional,” Bilic said.
“I wanted him to stay and he wanted to stay and then something happened and then he is off although I had assurances from the club that he would stay.
“That happened yesterday. Of course, I am not pleased. I am really disappointed because we need players. There is, of course, the economic side but we are a football club.”
Hegazi wrote an emotional farewell to West Brom and the fans.
“To my dear Baggies, I would like to thank you deeply for all the support you have given me over the past three years, through all the ups and downs. You have been amazing to me and my family,” the Egyptian wrote on Instagram.
“And I have always endeavoured to repay this faith by giving absolutely everything on the pitch for this great club, the fans and my teammates.
“I would also like to thank my teammates, coaches, and all the staff at West Bromwich Albion for welcoming me from day one, you have become family and I will miss you all, I wish you the best of luck for the rest of the season and the future.
“Now I’m looking forward to starting a new challenge with Al Ittihad club, which is one of the biggest and most popular in the Arab region, Asia.”
Al-Ittihad will face Al Ahli in a Pro League game this weekend, and Hegazi might be in line to make his league debut.
Uganda Coach McKinstry Names Home-Based Squad For AFCON Qualifier
The Cranes of Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry has named home-based stars for their upcoming AFCON 2021 qualifier. He put out a list of 22 home-based stars from which five or six of the players will be considered to be with the main squad of 20 foreign based players he named last week.
McKinstry stated that the home-based team will go through rigorous training and assessment between 2nd and 8th of November, before he makes his final selection.
“As previously announced in addition to the squad of 20 foreign based players for the upcoming double header against South Sudan in the A, we would be looking to adding 5 or 6 Uganda Premier League players to the mix so that they can compete for places in the squad.” Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry stated.
“In order to give the local based players the best support, we will be running an advance camp between 2nd and 8th November. In addition to that, we shall be able to have some early arrivals of foreign based players to join this camp in Kampala.”
“The camp will also help the local based players to push their levels higher and hopefully get some minutes on the field against South Sudan.” McKinstry concluded.
Uganda will face South Sudan on November 12 at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende before playing themselves again 4 days later in Nairobi.
Goalkeepers: Alionzi Nafian (URA FC), Lukwago Charles (KCCA FC), Mutakubwa Joel (Kyetume FC).
Defenders: Ndahiro Derrick (Sc Villa), Galiwango Disan (Vipers SC), Willa Paul (Vipers SC), Mandela Ashraf (URA), Iguma Denis (KCCA FC), Kato Samuel (KCCA FC), Juuko Murushid (Express FC), Lwaliwa Halid (Vipers SC), Mbowa Patrick (URA FC).
Midfielders: Mawejje Tony (Police FC), Kyeyune Saidi (URA FC), Kagimu Shafiq (URA FC), Watambala Kairm (Vipers SC), Owori David (Sc Villa), Anukani Bright (KCCA FC).
Forwards: Oriti Ibrahim (Vipers Sc), Karisa Milton (Vipers SC), Mukwala Stephen (URA FC), Ahebwa Brian (KCCA FC).
Entire Board of Cricket South Africa steps down
Cricket South Africa (CSA) have confirmed more resignations of the board members, a day after the departure of half a dozen board members.
CSA bid farewell to its acting president, Beresford Williams with five members of its board also stepping down.
After a meeting on Friday, the CSA board and the Member’s Council decided that the board members will step down if that will be to the best interest of the sport.
“After the Members’ Council had deliberated and resolved that in order to best serve the interest of cricket in South Africa, the entire Board should resign – which they did. All Independent and Non-Independent Directors have now resigned,” CSA confirmed in a statement on Twitter.
“The Members’ Council thanks every member who diligently served on the Board and selflessly sacrificed their time for extended and often, overwhelming periods, to assist Cricket South Africa.”
This announcement was made less than 24 hours before a deadline given to CSA by Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
CSA was told by the sports minister to provide reasons why he should not intervene with the problems in the sport.
Such intervention could have resulted in action from the International Cricket Council (ICC), which is against any government interference in the sport.
Independent and non-independent directors are the latest members to resign.
In 2019, Zimbabwe was suspended from international competition, following an intervention from the country’s government, which replaced its cricket board with an interim committee.
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