New format for Cosafa Cup


The 2022 flagship Cosafa Men’s Championship will be played from July 5-16 under a new format in Durban, South Africa.

Making the announcement through a press release on its website Thursday, Cosafa stated that this year’s tournament will attract 12 teams including Malawi.

The new format will see the 12 teams being divided into three groups of four teams each with group winners and the best runner-up advancing to the semi-finals.


According to the regional football governing body, hosts South Africa, 2022 winners Zambia and runners-up Namibia will be the seeded teams in the three pools.

As part of the new format, there will be no Plate competition this year.

“’It is a departure from the previous format in which there were two groups of four teams and another six sides entered at the quarterfinal stage. The new format ensures each country will play a minimum of three games up to a maximum of five over the course of the competition. It also allows for an extra days’ rest between the most pool games, a boost for player welfare,’’ reads part of the release.


The draw for this year’s tournament is scheduled for Friday next week.

It is set to come after the Cosafa Annual General Meeting slated for Johannesburg, South Africa.

The competition’s group stages will be played from July 5-12, with the semi-finals taking place on July 14.

The finals are scheduled for King Zwelithini Stadium two days later.

Football Association of Malawi president Walter Nyamilandu said there are no targets for interim coach Patrick Mabedi at the regional contest.

’’We will seize the opportunity to send locally based talent to this competition. This will be talent that has shown tremendous potential to deliver and make the country proud,’’ Nyamilandu said.

The Men’s Senior Championship will mark the start of a busy calendar of events for Cosafa with nine other tournaments on the menu before the year ends.

These include the Women’s Championship, Under-17 and U-20 boys’ and girls’ tournaments and the Cosafa Beach Soccer competition.

Malawi has never won the Cosafa Cup but finished as runners-up in 2002 and 2003 under the tutelage of Danish coach Kim Splidsboel.

Last year, under Romanian Mario Marinica, the Flames exited in the group stages following a 2-1 loss to Lesotho, a 1-1 draw with eSwatini and a 2-1 win over Mauritius.

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