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FIFA President Infantino Speaks Of Crucial Period For Africa

The latest episode of The COSAFA Show features an exclusive interview with FIFA President Gianni Infantino as he outlines the organisation’s plans for Africa and where he sees football on the continent headed in the coming years.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidential elections will be held in Morocco on March 12, with South Africa’s Dr Patrice Motsepe among those bidding for the seat.
Infantino admits that the outcome of those elections will be important in determining a pathway for the game in Africa.
“It is clear that elections are always an important milestone for an organisation like CAF,” he tells The COSAFA Show. “Let us not forget that in 2026 Africa will have nine or 10 (dependent on play-off winners) participants at the World Cup. And in 2023, Africa will have four instead of three participants at the Women’s World Cup.
“Before this, a lot of organisation needs to take place, this means that the period from 2021 to 2025 will be a crucial one for African football, because you want to go to these events and play a protagonist’s role, not just go, play and come back after two or three games.

“You want to compete at the highest level and to do that, the organisation needs to be done in a certain way.
“Reforms need to be implemented, everyone is aware of that, and the unity in the continent needs to be found, backing these projects that go from good governance to infrastructure development, to new competitions, and academy development for young players.
“All of these debates are at the heart of the CAF presidential debate and I would wish the whole continent can unite behind these topics and a strong leadership for Africa.”
Motsepe will be unveiling his 10-point plan for his CAF presidential bid on Thursday, but also outlines his views on what he can bring to the position.

Fredericks Reveals His Pick For Soweto Derby Winner

Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs will lock horns in the Soweto Derby on Saturday, with both in desperate need of points after disappointing starts to the new season by their own lofty standards.
Chiefs are seventh in the table and a full 12 points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, while Pirates are four points better off but have been hampered by too many draws and a lack of a cutting edge in the opponent’s box.
The Buccaneers have already won both legs of their MTN8 semifinal with Chiefs at the start of the campaign but lost the league meetings between the clubs last season.
One man well placed to talk about derby pressure is Stanton Fredericks, who played for both clubs in an illustrious career that also saw him represent Bafana Bafana.
“If you win the derby, the confidence levels, not only within the team but just going to training (and seeing fans) …” Fredericks told The COSAFA Show.
“You know when you play for Chiefs or Pirates and you lose a game, when you drive into the training field the Monday morning, the security guard won’t give you a welcome, the groundsman looks at you funny. The lady who usually gives you a hug just walks away! It affects the entire team on and off the pitch.
“The confidence that comes from winning the Derby is not just about the bragging rights, it adds to your performance and it will certainly help you going forward.”
Fredericks reveals who he thinks will win on Saturday and why a must listen for both fans of Chiefs and Pirates.
We also hear from Zambia coach Micho Sredojevic ahead of Sunday’s African Nations Championship quarterfinal against Morocco, a tough fixture for the home-based Chipolopolo.
And COSAFA General Secretary Sue Destombes reveals the organisation’s plans for 2021, including when, and where, the flagship COSAFA Cup senior men’s challenge will be played

COSAFA Nations Head Off To CHAN Finals In Hope Of VIctory

The COSAFA region will have three representatives at the 2021 African Nations Championship (CHAN), all hoping to become the first winners from the region to take home the continental trophy.
Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe came through the qualifiers to take their place at the finals, which will be played from January 16-February 7, a showcase of the quality of their domestic leagues.
The CHAN competition is open only to players who ply their trade in their domestic leagues and has grown in stature since it was first played in 2009.
All three COSAFA representatives have had to overcome challenges with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and players testing positive, but have managed to settle on their final 23 man squads.
"We had a slight hitch in terms of some players testing positive for COVID-19 in camp, but they were caught early," Namibia Football Association President Ranga Haikali tells The COSAFA Show.
"Everything is good, we have 33 players in camp, we are certain that those who might not recover fully or might have COVID-19 still in their system will be released by the coach, and we will have a minimum of 15 players. However, we are confident we will send a full squad of 23 players.
"Everything is in full swing, I spoke to the coach (Bobby Samaria) and he is confident that the core of his squad will be going to Cameroon to compete."
Renowned Zambia football journalist Kalumiana Kalumiana also gives his assessment of the Chipolopolo squad that will feature in Cameroon and their chances, while hosts Mark Gleeson and Nick Said preview the tournament and speak of the challenges of assessing who are the leading sides to watch.

Mothiba Readies For Return From Injury

South Africa striker Lebo Mothiba is nearing a return from a serious knee injury and
promising to come back fitter and stronger than ever ahead of a crucial 2021 that includes
the conclusion of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and the start of the 2022 FIFA World
Cup preliminaries.
We have delved into the archives for an interview with the 24-year-old Strasbourg forward,
where he discusses his path in the game and his time with the national team.
Mothiba netted four goals in his first five games for Bafana Bafana, but is stuck on the same
number after 14 caps, though his all-round contribution as a targetman striker should be
He admits the early suggestions that he could be the answer to Bafana’s scoring problems
left him uncomfortable.
"That is a difficult question because as a striker ... sometimes there are games where you do
well, score goals and everyone says you are the right one for the national team," Mothiba
said on The COSAFA Show.
"But then sometimes you can go five or six games without scoring a goal and the fans start
saying, 'this one is not a good striker'. I can just go and do my best and if I get the
opportunity to score goals, that is what I will try to do.
"I won't say that I am the answer to the scoring problems of South Africa. The PSL do have a
lot of good strikers, there are good players in the country."
Mothiba also discussed how he made it to France, his early influences and how he managed
to settle into European life so quickly, something that is often a challenge for South African
On this final show of 2020 we also talk to Mozambique Under-20 coach Dario Monteiro,
who led his team to a surprise win at the COSAFA Qualifiers for TOTAL U-20 AFCON,
Mauritania 2021.
He explains how he did it and looks to the future where the side will compete in Mauritania
from February.
We also talk to Zambia international Charles Zulu, who recently swapped Zanaco for Cape
Town City in South Africa’


Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane became just the third tactician ever to win the CAF Champions league with two different clubs as he followed up his 2016 triumph with Mamelodi Sundowns with another star for his personal badge in the 2019-20 final.
Even better, Mosimane guided his Ahly side to victory in the final over bitter rivals Zamalek, ensuring that just a few months after arriving at the club, he has already written his name into their rich history.
It is a first Champions league title since 2013 for the Cairo giants, and Mosimane used his know-how to brush aside old foes Wydad Casablanca in the semifinals, as well as repeat his 2016 final victory against Zamalek.
He spoke to the South African Football Journalists Association this week about that triumph and much more, and you can hear a snippet of his thoughts on the latest episode of The COSAFA Show.
“I have been in a whirlpool since I have been here. It has not been easy. Some might say it was easier because the [Egyptian] league was already won with only five games left. But it is not like that, at this level, on this stage, results are very important,” Mosimane says.
“You might say, ‘OK, but the team was already in the semifinals of Champions League’. Yes it was, but for me to get there I had to win all the games that are in between the semifinals. If you lose those games, you know the story, you won’t be here.
“Those games in the [Egyptian] league were pressure games for me, everybody wanted to see if they could trust me, what would I bring to the team, what would I do differently to what had been done because the league was won.
“That is the pressure, to keep winning. I had to start my own journey by winning games. You have start that journey by showing the difference you will make to the team. You can’t come with the same thing that they had.”

On this week’s show there is also a discussing with LaLiga Santander’s Managing Director for South Africa, Marcos Pelegrin about a recent partnership with COSA

Malawi Coach Mwase Grateful to Jomo Sono Boost

Malawi coach Meke Mwase has revealed how Jomo Sono was a major influence on him becoming a coach, and remains a mentor to this day.
Mwase played for Jomo Cosmos for three seasons in the 1990s during a successful career in which he was a stalwart of the Malawi national side.
The 48-year-old was appointed to lead The Flames last year, where he has the likes of Orlando Pirates striker Gabadinho Mhango and Baroka FC midfielder Gerald Phiri in his side.
"I enjoyed playing football, but coaching is a very big job and a very stressful job" Mwase tells The COSAFA Show. "You always have to pick a team to win the game, because in Malawi the people want their team to win all the time and that hasn’t happened in a long time.
"It was a big blessing for me to meet Jomo Sono. He has been like a father to me. I enjoyed playing for his team and he always encouraged me. He helped me to be a good player for the team.
"So it was nice making me a captain in my first year there. It was a great thing." 
Meanwhile, South Africa Under-17 captain Jessica Wade has earned a trip to Spain courtesy of LaLiga next year, where she will get to train with local sides and hopefully take in a league game if COVID-19 allow.
“It’s an incredible opportunity and such a wonderful surprise, I had no idea something like this existed,” Wade says. “To get the message that says you have an opportunity to go to Spain and train with local clubs and learn about their football culture is incredible and such a wonderful opportunity.”
Also on the COSAFA Show, Mark Gleeson talks us through the permutations in the various Africa Cup of Nations qualification pools after the latest round of fixtures.

Copper Queens Build Towards Tokyo Olympic

Zambia’s national women’s team should have already completed their participation at the Tokyo Olympic Games, but the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the festival of sport being moved to 2021.
That makes their appearance at the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay from November 3-14 all the more important, with plenty of fine-tuning for the squad, who are missing just a handful of their first team players due to overseas club commitments.
But back in the fold is star striker Barbra Banda, who netted 18 goals in 13 games in the 2020 Chinese Super League season to finish as top scorer and underline her status as one of Africa’s leading female players.
She got her COSAFA tournament off to a cracking start with a hat-trick against Lesotho in an 8-0 win on Wednesday, as Zambia flexed their muscles and showed their quality.
She reveals all on The COSAFA Show, talking about her season in China, path into football, being back in the Copper Queens squad and, of course, participating in the Olympic Games next year.

Ellis’ Plan For New-Look Banyana At Cosafa Women’s Championship

Banyana Banyana will be seeking a fourth COSAFA Women’s Championship trophy win in a row when they contest the 2020 edition in nelson Mandela Bay from November 3-14.

It is very much a new-look squad for coach Desiree Ellis with the unavailability of her overseas-based stars, but with some exciting new talent to keep an eye on, there will be plenty for fans to enjoy.
Ellis has told The COSAFA Show her plans for the tournament in an exclusive interview in which she touches on a wide range of subjects.

Khumalo Reveals Unlucky Break Against Brazil

Former Bafana Bafana defender Bongani Khumalo is now an elder statesman at SuperSport United, but after scoring against France at the 2010 World Cup won a dream move to Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premiership.

But a serious injured picked up while playing for Bafana in a friendly against Brazil in 2014 would not only end his European dream, but also likely cut short his international career.

Khumalo tells The COSAFA Show about his initial struggles in Europe, and how his misfortune against the South Americans would come at a heavy cost.

Jordaan To Former Players: Get Qualified

South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has urged former players to get their technical qualifications if they want to stay in the game, and says it is not enough to rely on their experiences during their career.

There has been a great debate in recent times about whether former players should be utilized more by SAFA. Following last weekend’s National Executive Committee meeting, ex-Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe was added to the technical committee, where he is joined by David Nyathi, while Brian Baloyi and Fabian McCarthy have been placed on SAFA's marketing, media and commercial committee.

But Jordaan says it is not enough for players to just expect these roles and they must make sure they have the required skills, revealing his feelings in a special edition of The COSAFA Show on Friday.

Hear more on the COSAFA Show!

Ntseki Admits To Challenges In Selecting Bafana Squad

South Africa's national team coach, Molefi Ntseki, admits selecting his first squad after lockdown will be a challenge with so little information about the form and fitness of players.

Bafana Bafana are hoping to play two friendly matches in the October FIFA window, with their first competitive fixtures slated for home and away clashes against Sao Tome e Principe in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November.

Those will be the first competitive games played in a year, and with such little domestic football also on the go in the last six months, Ntseki is starved of information when trying to assemble his best squad.

“When we announced our squad to face Sao Tome [for the cancelled matches in March] we had all the information we needed to know what to expect from each player. They were playing regularly for their teams,” Ntseki tells The COSAFA Show.

"Now it is a difficult situation for us because we have not seen much of them. The only ones we have really seen are the locally-based players in the PSL.

"For those overseas, we have a programme that gives us information about our players that are based abroad, which is very much of help to us.

"Most of them will be starting their leagues from August onwards, and this gives us information about their minutes and how they are doing for their clubs.

"But when it comes to the next FIFA week, it will be very difficult. We have obviously been watching players in the PSL, but if we were to select now it would be based on what we have seen following the resumption of football just a few weeks ago.

"We just hope those playing abroad will have enough minutes under their belt to warrant a call-up to the national team.”

You can hear Ntseki go into much more detail about his plans and challenges coming up for Bafana Bafana on The COSAFA Show.

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