Wednesday, July 6, 2011

COSAFA Women's Championship News-Blatter Impressed

FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Tuesday applauded Zimbabwe for hosting the COSAFA Women's Championship on short notice, which is an indication of the country's hosting capabilities.

Blatter flew into Harare on Monday on an historic visit that charmed the nation and could transform the face of football in the country amid pledges by the game's most-powerful man that they are ready to assist Zimbabwe become a powerhouse.

Zimbabwe President Mugabe met him in the State House, describing Blatter's visit as a great honour to the nation. "Keep thinking of us," Mugabe told Blatter.

Speaking to journalists after a closed-door meeting with Blatter, Mugabe described the visit as a great one from the "most powerful man in world football.

"We hope a bit of his power will remain with us. We are greatly honoured by his visit," Mugabe was quoted by The Herald on Tuesday as saying.

Mugabe joked that Blatter's visit was a good omen to Zimbabwe's national football teams. "We hope now that you are here we will not lose matches," he said.

Blatter took time off his busy schedule to watch the COSAFA Women's Championship match between Zimbabwe and Malawi at Rufaro Stadium on Monday afternoon and was impressed with what he saw. The FIFA boss had positive words for Zimbabwe after the country assumed the saviour's role by putting together a well planned tournament on short notice after the Reunion Island backed out due to financial constraints.

"I' m happy with what I saw. I must commend you for hosting the tournament which is going on well. The fans are very passionate and I was really impressed," said Blatter.

Blatter also praised the development of women's football in Zimbabwe. "Women' s football is developing well in Zimbabwe. It's good to realize that there's now a national league in place with 12 women's teams. It's a sign that the game is growing," added Blatter.

Although Blatter was generally impressed with the progress of local football and other developments related to the game, he nevertheless expressed concern with the state of the road leading up to the ZIFA Village in Mount Hampden, which is in bad state. Meanwhile, the FIFA boss left the country for South Africa on Tuesday morning after spending a day in the country.

Zimbabwe Maintains 100% record
Zimbabwe’s Mighty Warriors made it three out of three after beating Mozambique 3-nil in a COSAFA Group A match played at Gwanzura Stadium this Tuesday afternoon. 

The Mighty Warriors completed a clean sweep in the group stages with a resounding 3-nil victory over neighbours Mozambique to bring their total goals scored to 15. 

Zimbabwe has conceded a miserly 2 goals.

Coach, Rosemary Mugadza decided to rest six of her key players but the squad still proved good enough to beat Mozambique. 

Captain Nomsa ‘Boys’ Moyo opened the score sheet in the 29th minute before sharp shooter and girl of the moment Rufaro Machingura banged in a second in the 66th minute. 

Erina Jeke completed the rout in the 81st minute.

Zimbabwe had three goals disallowed. 

In another Group A match, Malawi, fresh from being hammered for eight by Zimbabwe, redeemed themselves by beating Lesotho 5-2 to qualify for the semi-finals. 

In group B, South Africa finished top after edging Tanzania 1-nil.

Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zambia have therefore bowed out of the 2011 COSAFA Women championship.  

The semi-finals will see Zimbabwe playing Tanzania on Thursday while South Africa and Malawi clash in another match. 

The two winners meet in the final this Saturday.

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