By Mabvuto Kambuwe:
Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) has shifted the calendar for the Under-17 Championship which Malawi will host.
Cosafa Deputy General Secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda, Tuesday said the competition had been shifted from September 26 to October 4 to October 11 to 20 2019 in Blantyre.
“Malawi will be seeded and head group A as hosts while Angola will head Group B for being champions of the same competition last year. The other six teams will be in pot one. The boys’ tournament will start from 11th to 20th October in Blantyre. Dates have changed following changes of dates for the girls’ competition in Mauritius,” Nyirenda said.
The changes offer Football Association of Malawi (Fam) and the government, which as of yesterday was yet to offer a guarantee towards the organisation of tournament, have additional two weeks to prepare for the regional youth showpiece.
On Monday, Cosafa gave Fam Friday as the deadline to provide the guarantee on hosting the competition.
Meanwhile, the draw for the Under-17 boys’ cup will take place today in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Malawi coach Derklerk Msakakuona is expected to witness the proceedings.
The boys’ championship would also attract South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Comoros Islands, Angola, Mauritius and Zambia.
The junior Flames, who have just returned from Tanzania where they took part in a schools competition, hope to better their performance of two previous editions.
In 2017, Malawi claimed bronze in Mauritius but failed to go past the group stages last year.
Malawi hosted and won gold for the 2001 edition of the championship after beating South Africa 4-1 in the final.
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