Bafana to contest 2013 Cosafa Cup
14 May 2013
Bafana Bafana will contest the 2013 Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) Cup Zambia, the South African Football Association (Safa) confirmed on Monday. The announcement comes after talks between Safa and the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
The two organisations met to discuss the release of players for the competition, which takes place from 6 to 20 July.
Coach Gordon Igesund wanted to be able to take the strongest possible team to the regional championship, which he said was a prestigious tournament which needed to be taken seriously.
'A competitive team'
After the successful outcome of the discussions, Safa CEO Dennis Mumble told reporters: "We will have a competitive team going to Lusaka. The meeting went well and we were able to find each other and there were firm commitments.
"Obviously [club] coaches would like to take their players to camp in the off-season, but it's also important we honour our commitment to Cosafa and we are hopeful we will have a strong team going to Zambia."
South Africa has been drawn to face the winner of Group A in the competition, which comprises East African guests Tanzania, Namibia, Mauritius and Seychelles.
Group B includes Kenya, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland, with the winner set to face Angola in the quarterfinals.
Two quarterfinal matches are already confirmed: Zimbabwe versus Malawi and Zambia versus Mozambique.
The Cosafa Cup was played from 1997 to 2009 before not being held for the past three years.
South Africa, Zambia and Angola have won the title three times, with Zimbabwe claiming two titles, including the last time the tournament was held in Zimbabwe in 2009. South Africa finished fourth on that occasion.
Bafana Bafana claimed the honours in 2002, 2007 and 2008.
Before they compete in the Cosafa Cup, South Africa has two very important 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifying matches to play. After a friendly against Lesotho on 1 June, they take on the Central African Republic in Yaounde, Cameroon, on 8 June. They then face Ethiopia on 16 June in Addis Ababa.
South Africa play a World Cup qualifier after the Cosafa Cup, a home match against Botswana in September.
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