13 Sep 2017 19:00pm
By Maqonda Ndlovu
BULAWAYO, 13 SEPT (NAMPA) The 2017 Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) tournament was officially launched in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe by that country's Minister of Sports and Recreation, Makhosini Hlongwane.
In a speech read on his behalf, Hlongwane said Zimbabwe continues to set the agenda in the development of sports in the region and in Africa at large.
This sports diplomacy gesture and its sensitivities to gender and politics therefore sufficiently engages the historically fixated polarities of access to sports which in turn invites the crucial need for women to partake in sports, in this case football, Hlongwane said.
He added that Zimbabwe was delighted to prove its worth in developing women's sports and recreation, as evidenced by the governments endorsement of the relaunched tournament.
The last womens Cosafa championships were held in Harare in 2011, when the host Zimbabwe beat South Africa by one goal to nil in the final.
Minister Hlongwane further said by hosting the tournament, he hoped that more people will now attend the womens game because womens participation in football responds to a global call for gender equality.
Meanwhile, in the matches played on the opening day of the tournament, Namibia beat neighbours Botswana by four goals to nil, while Zambia beat Malawi by six goals to three in a highly entertaining game.
Host Zimbabwe then outclassed Madagascar by four goals to nil in the last game of the day, with Rutendo Makore scoring all the goals.
Action continues on Thursday at Luveve Stadium with Mauritius taking on Swaziland at 10h30 before Kenya plays Mozambique at 14h30.
South Africa and Lesotho will conclude the day when they face each other at 16h30.