The CAF African Schools Football Championship COSAFA Qualifiers, Zimbabwe 2023, kick off at Gateway High School in Harare on Thursday, 14 December, featuring young boys and girls in the Under-15 age group competing for the regional championship.
Following successful editions in the WAFU B (Togo) and CECAFA (Kenya) Zones, the focus now shifts to Harare for the COSAFA Zone competition, marking the next step in the journey toward securing a place in next year’s Continental Finals.
As part of the competition’s broader goal of nurturing future African leaders, CAF, in collaboration with COSAFA, conducted the CAF Young Referees Programme and Coaches Programme ahead of the tournament to enhance capacity building among aspiring referees and coaches.
In the Boys’ division, hosts Zimbabwe will face Malawi, and Botswana will clash with Eswatini in the Group A openers, while similar matchups are scheduled for the Girls’ section. This pattern of mirrored fixtures will continue throughout the pool phase.
South Africa and Angola commence their quest for glory in both Boys’ and Girls’ competitions with a Group B clash at 10:00, while Zambia and Namibia do the same on another pitch simultaneously.
The opening day will feature a total of 20 fixtures, with an additional 20 scheduled for Friday, concluding the group phase. The winners of each pool in both Boys’ and Girls’ competitions will then compete in a final to determine the team advancing to the continental finals in April next year.
The Girls’ final is set for Saturday at 10:00, followed by the Boys’ final at 12:00. Before these decisive matches, the runners-up in each pool will contest for the bronze medal, with the Girls’ playoff at 09:00 and the Boys’ at 11:00.
The Boys’ competition will be played on full-size pitches with 11-a-side teams, while the Girls’ tournament will take place on half-sized pitches with 8-a-side teams. Both competitions will consist of 20 minutes per half and a 10-minute halftime break.