Ghana Black Stars participation in Cosafa Cup will boost tournament organisers

Ghana Black Stars’ participation in this year’s COSAFA Cup tournament in South Africa in May will further boost the reputation of the Southern Africa regional tournament, organisers have said.

The national soccer team, the Black Stars have been invited as guests for the competition in the 15th edition of Cosafa Cup.

Organised by the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa), the tournament will again bring together the best of the region and exciting invited guests in a festival of football from May 17-30.

The tournament will be staged in South Africa’s North West province and returns after the successful staging of the 2013 edition in Zambia that was won by the home side.

Twelve of the 14-member nations that make up Cosafa will be present in South Africa, with only Angola and Comoros Islands choosing not to participate this year, according to the draw the council released yesterday.

Their place in the competition has been taken by African Nations Cup finalists Ghana and East African nation Tanzania, who will provide a stern challenge to the COSAFA sides.

“It will be exciting for us to see the new generation of stars from Southern Africa emerge this year for, what we are sure, will be a another thrilling chapter in the rich history of the Cosafa Cup,” the Cosafa competitions chairman, Timothy Shongwe, said.

“Not only that, we have invited guests from Ghana and Tanzania who will bring a flavour of west and east Africa respectively. Their participation will liven up the tournament and provide added competition on the field of play,” he added.

The lower eight participating sides according to the February FIFA Rankings will compete in the first round, where they will be drawn into two pool each containing four sides.

The top teams in each group will advance to the knock-out stage of the tournament, where the six higher ranked sides will join the tournament from the quarter-finals onwards.

South Africa, due to its ranking, has been drawn against Botswana in the quarter-final stage of the tournament.

The likes of Zimbabwe’s Peter Ndlovu and BenjaniMwaruwari, South Africa’s Teko Modise and Katlego Mphela, Zambia’s Chris Katongo, Namibia’s Collin Benjamin and the Angolan duo of Manucho and Flavio have all grown their reputation in the COSAFA Cup.

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