Zimbabwe have been drawn alongside west African guest nation Senegal in the group stages of the historic 20th edition of the COSAFA Cup that will be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from July 7-18.
Only the top team in each group and the best-placed runner-up will advance to the semifinals in what is a change in formation for the tournament this year.
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That means each side is guaranteed three games up to a maximum of five, which will provide vital preparation for those national teams involved in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this year.
Many teams have in the past been fielding local players and it remains to be seen if they will field international players in preparation for World Cup qualifiers.
The COSAFA Cup is making a comeback after the event was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay for the first time, which has been a familiar home for other COSAFA competitions in recent years.
The 19 previous editions of the competition have seen some great performances and incredible games that have been written into the folklore of Southern African football, but only five nations can claim to have lifted the coveted trophy.
Zimbabwe (six wins) lead the way, followed by Zambia (five), South Africa (four), Angola (three) and Namibia (one).
2021 COSAFA CUP DRAW:
COSAFA thanked the government of South Africa for hosting the event.
This is happening when Zimbabwe has banned football as a way to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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