18 Apr 2019 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 18 APR (NAMPA) The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) has confirmed Durban as the host of the 2019 Senior Mens tournament, following the withdrawal of initial host Zimbabwe.
A media statement made available to Nampa on Thursday said the teams heading to the Africa Cup of Nations slated for Egypt from 21 June to 19 July will be able to use the COSAFA Cup to camp and play in high-quality competitive internationals just weeks before the continental showpiece.
These teams include Angola, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The prestigious regional tournament will be hosted in partnership with the South African Football Association and the eThekwini Municipality, with venues around the city to enrich the 14-team competition, the statement said.
It read that the teams will use Moses Mabhida Stadium for the semi-final and final matches while The King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi and the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu will be used earlier in the competition.
The Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium and Chatsworth Stadium will be training venues for the teams.
The draw for the first-round group stage of the 2019 COSAFA Cup is likely to be held in the first week of May with the format of the competition unchanged from previous years, the statement added.
It will once again feature 14 sides, with the lowest ranked eight split into two first round pools each containing four sides.
The winners of those pools will advance to the quarterfinals, where they will join the six higher ranked teams in a straight knockout format.
The four losing teams in the quarterfinals will drop into the Plate competition to ensure they continue to get competitive fixtures.
Zimbabwe will be the defending champions in 2019 having won the last of their record six titles in Polokwane 12-months ago when they edged Zambia 4-2 in a thrilling final.
Zambia and South Africa have four wins each, Angola three wins and Namibia one, and are the previous gold medallists (2015).