COSAFA is the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations and is responsible for managing 5 tournaments annually across different age groups and genders. All participating nations are from the SADC region, with certain nations being invited to participate on special occasions. COSAFA was re-branded in 2014 and a new strategy was introduced to cater for football across numerous categories.
COSAFA It brings together 14 nations of Southern Africa under a single umbrella, with the goal of developing the game of football in the region. This is not just from a playing point of view, but also with respects referees and the administration of the game. The 14 member countries of COSAFA are Angola, Botswana, Comores, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Associate Member Reunion.
From 2019 the 5 competitions run by COSAFA includes the Under-20 and Under-17 age-group, the COSAFA Beach Cup, the COSAFA Women’s Cup and the flagship event being the COSAFA Cup.
The showpiece event, the COSAFA Cup is held annually in May/June. The event brings together the best 14 Nations in the SADC region and is seen as a key tournament in preparing squads for the AFCON and FIFA World Cup. The 2019 edition is set to be held in May in Zimbabwe where the home nation will aim to defend the title they won in 2018 following a 4 – 2 victory over Zambia.
Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA U20 Championship
The Mopani Copper Mines U20 Championship’s are used to develop the next stars for the national teams, exposing them to international football and preparing them for their professional careers. This event will next be hosted in Zambia in December 2018.
COSAFA U17 Youth Championship
The COSAFA U17 Youth Championship’s are used to provide players exposure to competitive international football for the first time. The event provides a platform to test the best rising youth players and as well as an opportunity to be scouted by top clubs. The next edition will be hosted in July 2019. Angola are currently the cup-holders having won the 2018 edition.
COSAFA Women’s Championship
The COSAFA Women’s Championship provides the respective nations of COSAFA a chance to develop their women’s football. The event provides the players with international experience before key events such as the AFCON Woman’s Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics. The next event will be hosted in South Africa in August 2019.
COSAFA Beach Soccer
The newly created COSAFA Beach Soccer Cup was created due to the growing strength of the teams in the SADC region. Madagascar became the first ever winners from COSAFA of the CAF Beach Soccer Championship when they triumphed over Senegal in the final in the Seychelles in April 2015. The Beach tournament is the first of its kind and aims to develop athletes in preparation for the Beach Soccer World Cup. The next edition will take place in Seychelles in March 2019.