May 22 – Angola have pulled out of the Cosafa Cup, the regional tournament for southern Africa that is due to begin Saturday – the second country to do so after Madagascar, throwing the competition into disarray.
The short notice has placed Cosafa Cup organisers in an impossible situation with no time left to bring in a replacement before kickoff in Durban.
Three-time winners Angola have missed two previous Cosafa Cup tournaments – the first one in 1997 and also four years ago in 2015. The two withdrawals mean only 13 countries will be taking part.
“Despite canvassing far and wide across the continent for a replacement, the timeframe simply did not allow for a new participant,” a Cosafa statement said.
Group A will contain three teams – Comoros Islands, eSwatini and Mauritius – with the group winner advancing to the quarter-final against champions Zimbabwe on 1 June. Group B contains Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and the Seychelles, with the group winner going through to the quarter finals.
South Africa, Lesotho, Uganda, Botswana and Zambia all enter the competition at the quarter final stage.
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