The hunt for a new host for the 2020 COSAFA under 17 youth championship is over, after the Council for Southern Africa Football Association awarded the tournament to Mauritius.
Malawi was poised to host the tournament for the second time running but Government made a U-turn due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic which has affected every sector of life.
On Thursday, COSAFA Executive Committee had a meeting where, among other things, approved the region’s competitions calendar.
According to the body’ Deputy General Secretary and Competitions Manager Suzgo Nyirenda, the Mauritius Football Association showed interest to host both Under-17 boys zonal qualifiers and the Under-20 boys zonal qualifiers.
“As COSAFA continues to monitor the situations in its Member Associations in as far as Covid-19 pandemic is concerned, the Executive Committee has today 6th August, 2020 approved the competitions calendar. The Mauritius Football Association has registered its interest to host both Under-17 boys zonal qualifiers in November and the Under-20 boys zonal qualifiers in December,” reads part of his statement.
He further revealed that the South African Football Association (SAFA) has pledged to host the COSAFA Senior men’s tournament and Senior women’s championship and Under-17 girls tournament in October this year.
“SAFA has indicated it would host the COSAFA Senior men’s in Durban but dates and month would be communicated. SAFA has also confirmed its interest to host Senior Women’s championship and Under-17 in October in Port Elizabeth,” he added.
However, Nyirenda was quick to say that his association will continue to engage all the 14 member associations on when football will return in respective countries.
In 2019, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) hosted a successful Under-17 tournament at Mpira Village and were rewarded with another chance to host this year’s tournament.
But in July, Government came out in the open to announce that it was almost impossible to host the tournament.
Meanwhile, it is still not known if Malawian teams will be part of this year’ competitions as football remains suspended due to the pandemic.