Cosafa Cup holders South Africa will take on neighbours Mozambique in the quarter-finals of the 2022 edition.
The tournament’s draw was held on Tuesday at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
It is expected to be a tasty clash to look forward to, but there will also be plenty of others as the regional showpiece tournament sees West African guest nation Senegal return for a second year in a row after they finished runners up behind South Africa in 2021.
The Lions of Teranga will take on the winners of the first round Group B, where Lesotho meet Malawi, Mauritius and Eswatini.
Madagascar will face the Brave Warriors of Namibia in the third of the quarter-finals, while five-time winners Zambia tackle the winner of Group A, which contains Angola, Comoros, Seychelles, and Botswana in what is likely to be a hotly contested pool.
Only the top team in each pool will advance to the quarter-finals, making it a fierce battle for a place in the knockout stages.
The winners of the quarter-finals will advance to the semi-final round, while the losers will drop into the Plate competition and ensure they do have further matches to fine-tune for the upcoming African Nations Championship and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Durban will host the competition for the second time and have been the perfect stage for the 2019 event that was won by Zambia as they defeated Botswana in the decider.
Hlengiwe Mavimbela, MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture in KwaZulu-Natal, said they are delighted to have the Cosafa Cup back in the province.
“The Province of KwaZulu-Natal is proud to host the 2022 Cosafa CUP after missing out on the tournament last year,” said Mavimbela.
She added: “This tournament will bring excitement to KZN as it is taking place at a time when our province is recovering from the destructive floods and other recent events that have caused devastation in our province.
We call upon football lovers in KZN who meet the set criteria in relation to Covid-19 regulations, to come out in numbers to support all teams participating in the Cosafa Cup. We look forward to welcoming the senior men’s teams from our region who will be competing in this tournament.”
Fans will be able to attend matches at this year’s tournament for the first time since 2019, though strict Covid-19 protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of all at the stadium.
Venues may only be filled to 50 percent of their capacity and supporters must produce either a vaccination certificate, or a PCR test no older than 72 hours. Tickets availability for attendance will be announced and published in the coming days.
Cosafa also announced a partnership with Hollywoodbets for the 2022 year that will see the fast-growing South African-based betting company take title sponsorship of four tournaments.
These include the flagship Cosafa Cup, the Cosafa Women’s Champions League in Durban from August 4-14, the Cosafa Women’s Championship in Gqeberha from August 31-September 11, Cosafa Men’s U20 in Eswatini — 6/ 16 October, Cosafa Beach Soccer Championship that will also be staged in Durban from September 17-25.
2022 Cosafa CUP DRAW
GROUP A Angola Comoros, Seychelles, Botswana
GROUP B, Lesotho , Malawi , Mauritius , Eswatini