Squad sizes at COSAFA Cup to be increased to 23

22 Jun, 2022 - 15:06 0 Views
Squad sizes at COSAFA Cup to be increased to 23


Fungai Muderere

COACHES at the Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup 2022 set for Durban from 5 to 7 July have received a massive boost after the COSAFA executive committee and organising committee for competitions decided to increase the squad sizes for teams to 23.

The squads had previously been limited to 20 players, but in line with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) practice of allowing 23 members at their major competitions, COSAFA have followed suit.

The development will allow coaches to expand their options, especially as they may now also use five substitutes during matches in line with new regulations implemented by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) that will make the trend global from next season, should competitions wish to implement it.

The three added players will be a huge plus for teams that hope to go from the group stages to the final, where they will have to play six matches in either 12 or 13 days, depending on which first round pool they are in.

It is a punishing schedule, but one achieved by Namibia when they won the competition in 2015 and a number of other sides who have reached the Cup of Plate final.

Having those three extra players and the ability to rotate that little bit more in key positions can be the difference between winning and losing.

A number of coaches have already announced their preliminary squads of 30 players, which must be submitted by Wednesday. The finalised squad of 23 to play in the competition must then be handed to COSAFA by 27 June.

Other key regulations for this year’s competitions are:

Deciding group places

Should two or more teams finish on the same number of points in the pool phase, they will be separated by the result of their head-to-head meetings in the first instance.

The Zimbabwe Warriors are officially out of the 2022 Cosafa Cup.

COSAFA has announced that only Zimbabwe will be missing in action at this year’s regional competition due to their ongoing FIFA suspension due to government interference in the administration of the game.

This becomes the second competition that the Warriors are set to miss out on after they were recently excluded from the ongoing qualifiers for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Ivory Coast.

Initially, Cosafa had indicated Zimbabwe may have a chance of participating in the competition in the event the ban is lifted before the draw of the competition.

However, with the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) sticking with their decision to suspend the Felton Kamambo-led ZIFA board, Zimbabwe remains suspended from the international football family.

The exclusion from the Cosafa means Zimbabwe will miss the regional competition for the first time since it was founded in 1997.

Zimbabwe has won the most titles, with six wins, followed by Zambia and South Africa who have won it five times each.

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