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17
SEP

Africa Deserves More World Cup Representation - Beaumell

Former Zambia coach Patrice Beaumelle believes Africa should have more teams at the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and says the only way to take national teams on the continent to the next level is to have them play regularly at the global showpiece. Africa will have just five representatives from their 54 member associations in Qatar next year, while Europe, for example, which has 55 members, will have 13 slots, almost triple the number. Beaumelle, who is now in charge of Ivory Coast, says this uneven split is holding back the African continent, with the likes of South America to also have as many as five slots despite having only 10 members.
“Africa has good football and good players, and I feel like sometimes Europe underrates African football,” Beaumelle says on The COSAFA Show. “I would like to pass a message to FIFA to say we don’t respect African football, when out of 54 federations in Africa, only five can qualify for the World Cup. It is not even 10%.“How can we represent the continent when you don’t have one team in each group [at the finals]. When you look at Europe, I think they have 13 teams in the group stages. Sometimes you have two teams from Europe in one group at the World Cup.“We have 32 teams [at Qatar 2022] and we have eight groups, but only five [African teams], meaning we are missing a minimum three teams.” No African team has reached the semifinals and it was a poor showing from the five representatives in 2018, who each went out in the first round. But Beaumelle says this will continue while African teams have limited exposure to the global showpiece competition.“To go to the semifinals, you have to get experience. If you put more teams into the competition, more will get out of the first round,” he says.“If you look at the last World Cup [Russia 2018], we were Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Nigeria and Senegal. That meant Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, they stayed home. And I think such teams deserve to go to every World Cup.
03
SEP

SAFA Explains Bafana Coach's Mandate

The South Africa Football Association (SAFA) have effectively given new coach Hugo Broos a free pass and said qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is not a requirement in his mandate.
It comes as Broos starts his tenure with a completely new team from that which failed to reach the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, with a number of young and inexperienced players that it is hoped will be peaking in their careers around the time of the 2026 World Cup.
SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan explains the organization’s vision in the latest episode of the COSAFA Show, and exactly why they brought Broos on board.
“I think we have hope again,” he said. “This is a new beginning, we have a new coach, new assistant coach, new technical staff, new medical staff, new goalkeeper coach. And young players, you look at their faces, some are still babies that have been thrown into international football.
“So it's a fresh start, a new vision, new path, new direction. And the first match against Zimbabwe, in Harare on an uneven pitch, is going to be a huge test for this team. And if they can get positive results, I think we are on the way of the renewal of Bafana.
"We've tried to qualify for the World Cup and AFCON with '30 something' players and we didn't make it. And therefore, when we called Broos, it was because he was previously the coach of Cameroon and when he started, he had to also bring an end to all of those great players there who were over their 30s.
"Nobody gave that team a chance, in Cameroon or outside of it. And he brought those young boys and they won the [2017] AFCON.
“And suddenly there was a new generation of players. This is what we said to him. His contract is until 2026, which means it's to the next World Cup. And so what we will demand from him is qualification for the next AFCON [in 2023] and the next World Cup [in 2026].”
20
AUG

Durban In The Spotlight For COSAFA As Sundowns Plot Season Ahead

In this episode of The COSAFA Show we hear from Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi on the champions’ chances ahead of the new season in South Africa, and explore the three-year partnership between COSAFA, the KwaZulu-Natal Government and eThekwini Municipality that was announced this week. The latter will see the COSAFA Cup staged in Durban for the next two editions, while the COSAFA Women’s Championship and COSAFA Beach Soccer Championship will be played in the coastal city for the next three years.
Starting next week, Durban will host the 2021 TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League | COSAFA Qualifier to kick-off the partnership.

But all eyes will be on the DStv Premiership this weekend as Sundowns open the defence of their title at home to AmaZulu on Friday. Mngqithi knows it will be a long season for them, as they battle on the domestic front as well as the CAF Champions League. Finding the right number for the squad is tricky, especially with COVID-19 still a factor.
“We are in a very unfortunate situation because we happen to play more matches than any other team in the league, but one big issue is how to manage the squad,” Mngqithi says on The COSAFA Show. “Last season we had a rife COVID-19 situation that forced us to play almost every member of the squad [at some stage in the season], but this season we think the situation is getting better, based on the tests we are doing over time. “It is not always proper to have a big squad, you have maybe 8-10 players on the outside when we are doing our tactical work and you have to try and bring everybody to give them all a chance. “But as coaches, with what is happening at the moment, we are around 30-32 players that we have within the team and the possibility of settling on that number. But with COVID-19 hovering about you, we don’t know if that is the right number.”
30
JUL

COSAFA Women's Champions League Raises The Standards Among Clubs

The TOTALENERGIES CAF Women’s Champions League l COSAFA Qualifier from August 26 to September 4 is an exciting new entry into the calendar for the region and will raise the standard of club football in more ways than one.
The draw on Thursday saw South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies seeded in Group A, where they will take on Lesotho Defence Force, Double Action Ladies from Botswana, and Eswatini’s Manzini Wanderers.

Zambian side Green Buffaloes are the seeds in the three-team Group B and have been drawn alongside Black Rhinos Queens of Zimbabwe and TURA Magic from Namibia. The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals.
But aside from the action on the pitch, COSAFA has also been raising the bar by introducing club licensing that means teams have to meet a minimum standard. It forced Mozambican club Costa do Sol to have to pull out.
“Quite a few of the participants here are the ladies’ section of the men’s teams, so the club as a whole will have knowledge of the club licensing regulations,” COSAFA General Secretary Sue Destombes told The COSAFA Show.
“Being a first time for women’s clubs, the regulations have been lowered because we do have to give ladies stand-alone teams time to get themselves there.”
Destombes says the regulations have been approved by the Confederation of African Football to raise the standards of the women’s game.
“Every club should have access to their own stadium, not necessarily to own it, but have access for training and matches.
“This year CAF have been very lenient with the coaching licenses to give an opportunity for the clubs to catch up, so the head coach this year must have a CAF A, B or C license. By next year that will change. 
“The assistant coaches this year have no requirements, but that will also change next year. So it is forcing clubs who have ladies’ sections to get their house in order across the sporting, technical and administrative criteria. It is good, it protects the stature of the competition.”

15
JUL

COSAFA CUP AND CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL BRING PLENTY OF EXCITEMENT

The COSAFA Cup reaches the semifinal stage on Friday with South Africa to tackle Mozambique and west African guest national Senegal up against Eswatini for a place in Sunday’s decider. It has been a hectic road for the teams to get to this point, but they now stand 180 minutes away from glory. In this episode of The COSAFA Show, we hear from the South Africa stand-in coach Morena Ramoreboli, Horacio Goncalves from Mozambique and Eswatini tactician Dominic Kunene ahead of the Last 4 clashes. But while some teams celebrate, for others there was bitter disappointment, not least defending champions Zambia and six-times winners Zimbabwe. We will hear from Chipolopolo coach Micho Sredojevic about his team’s surprise early exit, and what that may mean for the future, and also from Zimbabwe tactician Zdravko Logarušić, who admits he “expected better” from his team. Saturday will also see the final of the CAF Champions League played as Kaizer Chiefs take on giants Al Ahly in Casablanca. Chiefs forward Khama Billiat could come up against his former coach Pitso Mosimane, who he won the Champions League with in 2016 while in the colours of Mamelodi Sundowns. “We have to be perfect in the final and make sure we stick to the plan the coach [Stuart Baxter] is showing us in training,” Billiat says. “We believe it will give us the right result. “But at the same time we need to not forgot what the coach is saying, that it will not be easy, we are facing a good side, we can only give it away if we don’t apply certain things that can make a difference in a game. “Which is being in the right place and managing the space [they give to Ahly]. We know we are just 90 minutes away from the glory.
02
JUL

SENEGAL ARE READY TO FIGHT FOR THE COSAFA CUP TROPHY

Senegal will feature in the 2021 COSAFA Cup as a guest nation but are determined to take home the trophy when the tournament is played in Nelson Mandela Bay from July 6-18. The west Africans have been drawn in Group C along with six-time winners Zimbabwe, Mozambique and 2015 champions Namibia, with only the top team guaranteed a place in the semifinals. There will be no Sadio Mane or Idrissa Gueye in their side, but instead a group a young, hungry players from the Senegalese domestic league, and their Head of Delegation for the trip, Sam Diatta, says they have just one goal in mind for their visit to South Africa.
"A guest should be hungry when they come to your place and we are definitely hungry," Diatta tells The COSAFA Show. "We like these kinds of situations, being invited and then to go and take the trophy. We are not coming as tourists, we are coming to fight and play.
"We want to show that no matter the players we bring, we will show the image of Senegal. And in Senegal, talent is not a question, we have so many talented players (in the local league).
"You could bring even four teams to South Africa and each would represent the country (well) in that tournament. We are going as a hungry team to show people we can do something good.
"We are going to play good football and fight to take the trophy."
In this episode of The COSAFA Show, we also chat to Dr Thulani Ngwenya, who is head of the medical department at the South African Football Association and a driving force in implementing world-class ‘return to play’ COVID-19 regulations for tournaments.
He explains how a competition like the COSAFA Cup can safely be staged during the third wave of infections South Africa is experiencing.
We also hear from Nelson Mandela Bay Deputy Mayor Luxolo Namette as he shares his thoughts on the competition and what it means for the Friendly City to host major sporting events such as this one.
18
JUN

Coaches React To 2021 COSAFA Cup Draw!

The draw for the historic 20th edition of the COSAFA Cup that will be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from July 7-18 has thrown up plenty of intriguing ties as the competition takes on a new format and added significance. The big news is the appearance of west African giants Senegal, who will be guests at the tournament and will certainly add some star quality to what is already a strong field. They have been drawn alongside record six-time winners Zimbabwe in a Group of Death that also includes Mozambique and 2015 COSAFA Cup winners Namibia. Zimbabwe are planning to use the competition to blood youngsters and give fringe players an opportunity with one eye on the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that starts in September, and the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon in January next year. "It is an interesting draw, so let's see how things go," Zimbabwe coach Zdravko Logarusic tells The COSAFA Show
On this episode we also hear from the technical teams of Zambia, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Mozambique and Malawi as they share their thoughts on the draw. Hosts South Africa also have an intriguing group that includes neighbours Lesotho, Botswana and Eswatini.
28
MAY

FUTSAL TO THE FORE! BRAZILIAN BRILLIANCE SHEDS LIGHT ON THE SPORT

In the latest episode of The COSAFA Show, we delve into the world of Futsal, the little brother of association football that is fast growing around the world and about to get a massive boost in Southern Africa.
We speak to Junior Roberti, who along with current Brazil national team coach Marquinhos Xavier is leading a charge to provide training to aspiring Futsal tacticians around the world.
It will be the turn of the COSAFA region from next month, with a course that will run from June 16 to August 25, ahead of the inaugural COSAFA Futsal Championships later in the year.
Roberti explains the aim of the course, as well as just what makes Futsal so relevant to the 11-a-side game, especially in the training of young players.
“The fact that the space in Futsal is so tight, you have to make decisions in a very short period of time,” Roberti told The COSAFA Show. “You don’t have space and you don’t have time, so that means you need to develop your decision-making process to deal with that constraint.
“Naturally, because of that process you start developing the technical elements and skills to deal with that. The ‘problem’, which we say in a positive way, that kids have playing Futsal is the lack of space and time.
“It starts in their heads, because they have to perceive the situation and the environment. Then it goes to the leg because they need to solve that problem. It is a combination of the decision-making process in a Futsal game, that transfers to the skills they will develop. 
“They will then transfer that to [association] football on the grass. So it is a combination of factors that is interesting. We develop the technical aspects of the player because ultimately they need to solve a tactical problem. It is beautiful because you can see the kids thinking.”
Also on this episode we speak to South African junior international Rowan Human, who has just completed an excellent season on loan at Israeli second-tier side Beitar Tel Aviv.
14
MAY

HUGO BROOS TALKS BAFANA BAFANA AND A WHOLE LOT MORE

Hugo Broos has been appointed the new coach of Bafana Bafana and had a number of
interesting things to say in his first meeting with the media this week.
The experienced Belgian tactician has been tasked with rebuilding the Bafana Bafana brand
after their failure to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
He has cautioned that patience will be needed, and seemed to suggest it was unlikely the
side would qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but that if the team did not reach the
2023 and 2025 Nations Cups, and the 2026 World Cup, then the media “can kill me”.
He also introduced his new assistant coach, the Macedonian Cedo Janevski, who is currently
working with Olympiakos Nicosia in Cyprus but will link up with the side next week.
“He played for Club Brugge in Belgium‚ is married to a Belgian‚ so he’s Belgian. He talks
English‚ French and Dutch‚ so there will be no problem with languages,” Broos revealed.
“There will be no problem with experience. He was the coach of Brugge I think nearly 20
years ago‚ won the cup with Brugge‚ was a coach in Greece‚ a coach of the national team of
Macedonia. “So I think he’s an experienced coach. And I have to say and be honest he’s a friend of mine‚
so think the working together will be 100%. “I know him a very long time and I’m very happy that the [SAFA technical] committee
agreed that I bring this Belgian coach with me. I think he will arrive by the end of next
week.” You can listen to Broos on this subject and a whole lot more In this week’s episode of The
COSAFA Show, including what his plans for the team are.
We will also chat to new Botswana Football Association CEO Goabaone Taylor, who is the
first woman to fill the position. She has set her sights on improving the fortunes of the organisation and tells us how she will go about doing that.
30
APR

Portugal-Based Rising Star Hopes To Wear Bafana Jersey

South African-born rising star Ricardo Schutte hopes to be donning the colours of Bafana Bafana in the near future, though a foot injury looks to have ended his hopes of appearing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with the national Under-23 side.
His has been a fascinating journey having been born in Zeerust, and later moving to the Portuguese island of Madeira, where he idolised another local in Cristiano Ronaldo.
He tells The COSAFA Show of the massive impact the Portuguese star has had on the island.
“Coming from Madeira we always watched Cristiano Ronaldo,” Schutte says. “I liked Manchester United a lot because of him, then Real Madrid and now Juventus. I am always studying how he plays and he was like a role-model.
“You don’t realise it until you are on the island, but the best thing that ever happened to Madeira was Cristiano Ronaldo … and for Portugal too. Coming from a small, small island, it is just a great impact that he has had on the local community.
“Everybody talks about him, everybody loves him. All the young kids on the island who want to be football players, they are inspired by Ronaldo. You look at where he came from, what he did [to be successful], how difficult was his life in Madeira, because he did not come from a stable background in terms of money and so on.
“So seeing his career and the great player he had become, it is an inspiration for everyone.”
Schutte is on loan at Spanish LaLiga 2 side Mirandes this season from Portuguese top-flight outfit Rio Ave, and admits it has been a tough campaign with injuries.
“I have had a few injuries, but in the beginning I was doing very, very well,” he says. “I had adapted quickly to the team and was playing 90 minutes every game. Then I had a little injury, then another one and another one. But now I am coming back and much stronger again.
16
APR

Bafana Midfielder Nodada Wishes Ntseki Had More Time

Cape Town City midfielder Thabo Nodada feels for former national team coach Molefi Ntseki and says he wishes the tactician had “one more chance” to prove he was the right man for the job. Nodada was an unused squad member as Bafana Bafana crashed out of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals contention with a 2-0 loss to Sudan in their last preliminary match. Ntseki has since been relieved of his duties, but Nodada feels it is hard on the coach. “I wish Molefi Ntseki had another chance,” he told The COSAFA Show. “Him being a teacher meant a lot in that national team, to be able to process so much information in just seven or eight days. He was so detailed in how the team should play and how the set-up should be. “I don’t think there was any player who went onto that field not knowing what to do. It is just that when you cross the line it is not the coach, it is you and your own readiness. “I had prepared a note when I was going to the national team. I was going to thank the coach for everything, he took me and planted me on very fertile land. He gave me the chance to play [in the national team over the last 12 months]. Even when things weren’t going well at my club, he had the courage to call me back to the national team.” Nodada admits he was disappointed not to get a chance to play in Sudan as he felt he was ready to contribute to the team effort. “In the latter stages of the camp in Sudan I thought I came into my own and I was very disappointed I didn’t get the chance [to play]. Where I was mentally, I felt I was just one kick away from doing something I have not even thought about.” Also on The COSAFA Show, we speak to former Namibia international Sandro de Gouveia about that country’s first COSAFA Cup experience in 1997 and how the tournament helped to develop a Golden Generation for the Brave Warriors. And the feature interview is with Mayrilian Cruz Blanco, who is the co-founder and chair of the Sports Equity+ International Foundation.
26
MAR

Kgatlana Shines On One Of The Biggest Stages In Women's Football

Thembi Kgatlana has had her scoring boots on this season in Spain with 10 goals so far for Eibar in the Primera División Femenina, but the Banyana Banyana star has set her sights on much bigger things in the future.
The 2018 CAF Women’s Footballer of the Year has shown all her incredible skill, blistering pace, and eye for goal, and has been a stand-out performer in one of the toughest leagues in Europe.
“Each match I am more confident and more focused and ready to play. I want to be a team player, that is a side of my game that I have been wanting to grow,” Kgatlana told The COSAFA Show.
“For me, it is not just the goals that I score, but the assists that I get the crucial penalties that I win for the club. I feel I am ticking that aspect of being a team player and getting better.”
Kgatlana has played in the United States, China, and Portugal before joining Eibar, where she is enjoying life on and off the pitch.
“It is a small city, everyone is fanatical about the club because it is the only one here. It is not like Soweto where you have Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, and Swallows, here there is just one team.
“Everywhere you walk in the city, people in their homes, on school bags for kids, they are flying the flag of Eibar.”
She says she has learnt a lot in her short stay so far in the Primera División, where the standard is very high.
“Spain is more about technique and intelligence. I have been in the US, which is a bit of both, technique and experience. About 80-90% of the girls that play for the US national team play in the NWSL [National Women’s Soccer League] so it makes it one of the strongest leagues in the world.
“Like I said, they are big on technique and video analysis, that kind of thing.

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