U20 Football Tournament a Stepping Stone for African talent

By: 
Wed, 19/11/2014 - 17:26

COSAFA will organize the Junior Men’s and Junior Women’s competitions at the African Union Sports Commission Youth Games to be staged in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe from December 4-14.

The junior events will go a long way towards the development of young players in the region and are seen as stepping-stones to a professional career – a path through which many top names from the region have already passed.

COSAFA will organize a Junior Men’s championship for countries from the region as well as a Junior Women’s  competition to be played concurrently over the 10 days.

The draw for both competitions has already been made, with champions South Africa placed in a tough pool in the men’s Under-17 event.

They are in Group B along with Zambia, Lesotho, Seychelles and Namibia with the top two sides advancing to the semifinals.

Group A features hosts Zimbabwe as top seeds, followed by Mozambique,Swaziland,Angola and Malawi.

South Africa and Zambia have both qualified for CAF’s African Youth Championships in Niger next February, with this tournament providing them with an excellent opportunity to prepare for that continental showpiece.

The matches get underway at the Luveve and Barbour fields stadiums in Bulawayo on December 4, with the men’s final to be played 10 days later at the latter venue.

Many internationals in the current squads of COSAFA nations have come through this event in the early part of their careers.

The women’s Under-20 tournament will feature four countries and be played in a round-robin format with three points awarded for a win and one for a draw.

Hosts Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia will be in the hunt for the gold medal.

The event will get under way with a bang when Zimbabwe and South Africa clash in Barbour fields on December 4, with the round-robin matches to be completed five days later.

But more than the players, the two tournaments also give COSAFA the chance to provide experience to up-and-coming male and female referees from around the Southern African region.

In all there will be 22 match officials / referees – 9 female and 13 male – who will gain their first international experience at these tournaments.

COSAFA, together with FIFA, is also extending the learning experience to young coaches with a Youth Coaching Course for male and females from across Zimbabwe. 
The course will take place in Bulawayo at the same time as the AUSC Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games and the instructors and participants will utilize some of the 30 football matches being played as their practical work during the course.

 Junior Men’s Tournament fixtures:

  • 04/12/14         11h00 Seychelles vs Namibia           Luveve Stadium
  • 04/12/14         11h00 Angola vs Malawi                   Barbourfields Stadium
  • 04/12/14         14h00 Zambia vs Lesotho                 Luveve Stadium
  • 05/12/14         11h00 South Africa vs Lesotho         Luveve Stadium
  • 05/12/14         14h00 Namibia vs Zambia                Luveve Stadium          
  • 05/12/14         16h30 Swaziland vs Angola              Barbourfields Stadium
  • 05/12/14         19h00 Zimbabwe vs Mozambique    Barbourfields Stadium
  • 06/12/14         14h00 Zimbabwe vs Swaziland         Luveve Stadium          
  • 06/12/14         16h30 Malawi vs Mozambique          Luveve Stadium          
  • 07/12/14         14h00 Lesotho vs Seychelles            Barbourfields Stadium
  • 07/12/14         16h30 Zambia vs South Africa           Barbourfields Stadium
  • 08/12/14         11h00 Angola vs Zimbabwe              Luveve Stadium
  • 08/12/14         15h00 Mozambique vs Swaziland     Luveve Stadium
  • 08/12/14         16h30 Seychelles vs Zambia            Barbourfields Stadium
  • 08/12/14         19h00 South Africa vs Namibia         Barbourfields Stadium
  • 09/12/14         14h00 Malawi vs Zimbabwe              Barbourfields Stadium
  • 10/12/14         14h00  Seychelles vs South Africa   Luveve Stadium
  • 10/12/14         14h00 Namibia vs Lesotho                Barbourfields Stadium
  • 10/12/14         16h30 Swaziland vs Malawi              Luveve Stadium
  • 10/12/14         16h30 Mozambique vs Angola          Barbourfields Stadium
  • 12/12/14         15h00  Winner A vs Runner-up B     Luveve Stadium
  • 12/12/14         17h00  Runner-up A vs Winner B     Barbourfields Stadium
  • 13/12/14         15h00  Third-place play-off               Barbourfields Stadium
  • 14/12/14         15h00  Final                                      Barbourfields Stadium

Junior Women’s Tournament fixtures:

  • 04/12/14         19h45 Zimbabwe vs South Africa      Barbourfields Stadium
  • 05/12/14         16h30 Botswana vs Namibia Luveve Stadium
  • 07/12/14         14h00 South Africa vs Botswana       Luveve Stadium
  • 07/12/14         16h30 Namibia vs Zimbabwe            Luveve Stadium
  • 09/12/14         16h30 Zimbabwe vs Botswana          Luveve Stadium
  • 09/12/14         16h30  South Africa vs Namibia         Barbourfields Stadium

 

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