Friday, June 24, 2011

2011 COSAFA Women's Championship Moved To Zimbabwe

Exactly nine years after staging the first Cosafa Women's Championships in Harare, Zimbabwe will stage this year's edition from July 2 to July 9.

Indian Ocean islanders, Reunion, who were supposed to host the event, pulled out citing financial difficulties.

Yesterday, Cosafa president Suketu Patel announced that Zimbabwe will host the event next month.

He said Cosafa were delighted that Zimbabwe had come on board, at a short notice, to host the tournament.

Patel said Cosafa remained confident that Zimbabwe will stage a good show like the successful 2009 Cosafa Men Senior Challenge Cup, won by the hosts.

No comment could be obtained from Zifa last night amid indications that they were waiting for Government's approval to underwrite some of the costs associated with hosting an event of such magnitude.

Six countries - hosts Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique - have already confirmed their participation.

Reunion, Zambia and Tanzania are supposed to send their confirmations by close of business today.

The Cosafa president said the matches will be played across two venues in the capital Harare and will be preceded by a Women's' Referees Course that will be conducted by Fifa.

"The 2011 Cosafa Women's Championship will be held in Zimbabwe from July 2-9 after Reunion pulled out of hosting, citing financial pressures," said Patel in a statement released yesterday."Zimbabwe successfully staged the 2009 Cosafa Senior Challenge for men, which they won on home soil.

"The hosts will head the field, along with South Africa, who have won the previous three installments of the competition in 2002, 2006 and 2008.

"Also attending are Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi and Mozambique.

"Cosafa is still awaiting confirmation from Reunion, Zambia and East African side Tanzania, who have been invited as special guests to the regional showpiece event.

"Once the full field is confirmed, a draw for the finals will take place.

"The teams will be split into two groups at the tournament, and will play each other in a round-robin format, with the top two sides in each pool advancing to the semi-finals."The winners in the knockout stages will compete in the final, while the losers will play for bronze in a third-place play-off."

Patel said his organisation was certain the tournament would be a success.

"We are delighted that Zimbabwe has taken up the mantle as hosts at such short-notice and have full confidence in the country to put on an excellent 2011 Cosafa Women's Championship," said Patel. Zimbabwe has shown before, with their successful hosting of the 2009 Cosafa Senior Challenge, the country's readiness to stage major sports events, as well as the people's passion for the game of football."

From June 28 to July 1 referees drawn from various countries within the Cosafa zone will participate in a referee's course, which will be conducted by Fifa.

Zimbabwe reached the final in the inaugural edition, losing 2-1 to neighbours South Africa, who have won the competition all the three times it has been held.Fresh from their recent qualification for the All-Africa Games finals, the Mighty Warriors, who have been on a revival since a new leadership led by Mavis Gumbo came into power in March last year, would be looking to lift their first Cosafa Cup on home soil.

The team regrouped yesterday after a month's break following their 3-1 win against Angola on aggregate in the final qualifier for the 10th All-Africa Games, which will be staged in Maputo, Mozambique, from September 3 to 18.

The 25-member squad conducted their first session at Rufaro last morning under coach Rosemary Mugadza who recently attended a refresher course in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The team is staying at a training centre as the Zifa Village facility is being used by the Young Warriors team, which has been in camp since last week in preparation for their last qualifying match against South Africa in Johannesburg this Saturday.


Onai Chingawo (Aces Youth Academy), Chido Dzingirai (Cyclone), Manyara Mandara (Cyclone).

Rhodha Jongondi (North Rovers), Ruvimbo Mutyavaviri (Mufakose Queens), Eunice Chibanda (Aces Youth Academy), Nobuhle Majika (Inline Academy), Ntombizodwa Sibanda (Muton), Rufaro Machingura (Aces), Danai Bhobho (Cyclone), Sheila Makoto (Aces Youth Academy), Patience Mujuru (Black Rhinos).

Samukeliswe Zulu (Inline Academy), Nomsa Moyo (New Orleans), Talent Mandaza (Black Rhinos), Marjoury Nyaumwe (Mufakose), Tsitsi Mairosi (Cylone), Nokuthula Ndlovu (New Orleans), Violet Bepete (Aces Youth Academy), Emmaculate Msipa (Mufakose Queens), Elizabeth Chaparangana (Aces Youth Academy).

Rudo Neshamba (Inline Academy), Erina Jeke (Cyclone), Kuda Bhasopo (Black Rhinos).

by Grace Chingoma

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