Cosafa Chief Operations Officer Sue Destombes on Wednesday announced that the Cosafa Cup draw will be moved from Windhoek to Johannesburg due to flight problems.
The confirmation from Cosafa states the unavailability of flight seats back to Johannesburg by Friday after the draw as the main reason for the change.
“It is with deep regret that I advise that due to the non-availability of flights from Windhoek to Johannesburg on Friday 29th April that the draw in Windhoek must be cancelled. The draw will therefore take place in Johannesburg on Thursday. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused but these are circumstances are beyond our control,” Destombes said.
A member of the Cosafa Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and NFA secretary general Barry Rukoro expressed deep regret at the turn of events.
“This is a totally regrettable situation but we have to do what we need to do for the sake of the draw. All flights are fully booked until Tuesday, 3 May and that could have meant the whole Cosafa delegation from all over the region stays in Windhoek until Tuesday which is very costly.
The best decision arrived at is to still host the draw in Johannesburg instead of Windhoek on Thursday as earlier planned,” Rukoro said.
A total of 14 teams will compete in the tournament while eight of those will be involved in the first round to be divided into two groups of four nations each. The teams for the groups are the seeded sides Malawi, Angola, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, as well as Madagascar, Lesotho, Mauritius and Seychelles. The teams have been seeded based on the April 2016 Fifa world rankings.
The two group winners will join the defending champions Namibia, DR Congo, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique in the quarterfinals.
The group matches will be played between 11 and 16 June at Sam Nujoma and Independence Stadiums, while the quarterfinals will be held on 18 and 19 June. The Plate semifinal will be contested on 21 June with the semifinals proper slated for 22 June. The Plate final will be on 24 June with the third place and the final to be played on 25 June.
SOURCE: The Namibian