Money keeps Young Warriors out of COSAFA Under-20 Cup in Zambia
Confirming their worst fears, Young Warriors last week announced they had to withdraw from the 2018 Mopani Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 championships in Kitwe, Zambia, due to a lack of funds to travel to the neighbouring country. This forced the organisers to change the format of the competition that will now have one group with only three teams.
The regional championships started on Sunday 02 December and run until 14 December as eleven teams compete for the coveted title that was won last year by South Africa. With Namibia out, the Group B at the tournament will have just three sides, South Africa, Mauritius and eSwatini, with each team to feature in one less fixture in their pool play.
“We are obviously very disappointed following the withdrawal of Namibia, who were our Under-17 winners in 2016 and likely to bring a strong squad to this championship in Zambia. Nevertheless, we still have an exciting field and are looking forward to another excellent tournament in Zambia filled with entertaining football, and the chance for growth and development for the best young players in our region,” said Timothy Shongwe, Chairman of COSAFA’s Competitions Committee.
Despite Namibia’s withdrawal, the tournament regulations will remain the same, meaning that only the top team in Group B will advance to the semifinals. The winners of each pool and the best runner-up go through to the knockout phase, but the latter will in all likelihood only come from Groups A and C.
Caption: Young Warriors also previously missed out on the 2016 finals due to lack of funding. (Photograph by the Namibia Football Association)