Zambia Handed Bye in 2008 Cosafa Challenge Cup
The 2008 Cosafa Challenge Cup will be held under a new 16-team tournament-style format in Mpumalanga, South Africa played over 2 stages with 20 matches played from July 17 to August 2.
The preliminary group stage of the new-look Cosafa Challenge Cup will comprise of six teams namely Namibia, Malawi, Madagascar, Swaziland, Lesotho, Seychelles, Mauritius and The Comoros Island.
The six teams in the preliminary round will play each other on a round-robin
League basis from July 17 to 19 with the top two qualifying to the final last-8 knockout stage of the Cosafa Cup that will run from July 24 to August 2.
There, they will be paired against the top 6 ranked teams of the Fifa rankings from the Cosafa zone who have been handed preliminary round byes.
The teams on bye are defending champions South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia including 3-time Cosafa Cup winners Angola and Zimbabwe.
The 2008 COSAFA Cup will be played at three venues over a period of 2 weeks with all preliminary group stage matches played in the Mpumapalnga towns of Secunda and Witbank.
The last-8 knockout stages, quarterfinals and semifinals will be played on July 19 at Witbank and Thulamashe- the latter venue to hosts the final on August 2.
South Africa beat 2006 winners Zambia 4-3 on post-match penalties in the 2008 2008 final after a scoreless draw played at Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein.
And the 2008 COSAFA Under-20 tournament will be held in Kimberley, South Africa from November 27 to December 7.
Draws to be made June 20 at the tournament venue.
Zimbabwe are the defending champions after beating hosts South Africa 3-0 in the finals last December in Mpumalanga at Thulamashe.
In other news, Felix Katongo, Clifford Mulenga, Isaac Chansa, Roger Kola and Kennedy Mweene are all expected to leave for Teheran on Friday to join Zambia ahead of Sundays friendly there against Iran.
Mulenga meanwhile arrived in the country on Monday and has been training with the Zambia U20 team in camp in Lusaka.
All the players will leave for the middle-east on the same flight as the Zambia Under-20 team who will be heading to Saudi Arabia to play a friendly international against that country’s Under-21 team.
19 players will comprise the Under-20 team after the withdrawal of Kola from the team.
Kola was the 20th member of the junior team after he was drafted into the senior side for the Iran match.
The Under-20 will play Saudi Arabia on Sunday evening and return home on Tuesday.