The draw has been concluded for the CAF African Schools Football Championship COSAFA Qualifiers, Zimbabwe 2023 from December 14-16, allowing the 10 competing nations to plot their path to the trophy.
With the same 10 sides competing in the Boys’ and Girls’ Under-15 events, a single draw was concluded to determine the two pools in each competition. The sides have been split into two pools each containing five teams. They will play in a round-robin format, with the top teams in each group advancing to the final. The runners-up will clash for third place.
Hosts Zimbabwe headline Group A, and have been drawn with Malawi, Botswana, Eswatini, and Mozambique. South Africa, who won the Boys’ and Girls’ competition in the inaugural zonal competition in Lilongwe, Malawi in 2022, are the seeded team in Group B.
They must face Angola, Zambia, Namibia, and Madagascar for a place in the knockout rounds. The winners of the two zonal competitions will advance to the continental finals to be played next year.
South Africa are represented in the Boys’ competition by Ubuntu Football Academy School and, for the second year in a row, by Edendale Technical School in the Girls’ event. The other nine competing nations have teams made up of the best of their players from the national phase of the qualifiers, which is allowed this year.
The Boys’ competition will be played on full-size pitches with 11-a-side, while the Girls’ tournament is played on half-sized pitches and is 8-a-side. In both competitions, it will be 20 minutes per half, with a 10-minute halftime break. There will be a total of 44 games played across the three days of competition in a true festival of school football.