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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 16:52 UK

Cosafa Cup draw

By Mark Gleeson

Angola with the Cosafa Cup
Angola celebrating their Cosafa Cup success in 2004

The draw for the Cosafa Cup, the southern African championship, has been held as the tournament returns with a new name, a new format and a new entrant.

There were 14 nations in the draw for the Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup with the Comoros Islands joining the tournament for the first time.

The top six teams in the region all have byes into the quarter-finals.

The other eight have to play in a 2 group tournament from 19-24 July; Swaziland were drawn with Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles in Group A while Malawi will be the fancied team in Group B along with Lesotho, Namibia and the Comoros.

The group winners will advance to the quarter-finals on 26 July where recent World Cup finalists Angola play the Group B winner while the Group A victors take on hosts South Africa.

Angola: 1999, 2001, 2004
Zambia: 1997, 1998, 2006
Zimbabwe: 2000, 2003, 2005
South Africa: 2002, 2007

In the other two quarter-finals arch-rivals Zambia and Zimbabwe were thrown together while World Cup protagonists Botswana and Mozambique will also resume hostilities.

The tournament is being hosted and sponsored by South Africa's Mpumalanga province and begins on 19 July and culminates with the final on August 3.

Most teams are expected to bring strong sides to the event although because the dates falls outside of the Fifa calendar meaning they will not be able to call upon foreign-based players.

The annual tournament looked likely to fall off the calendar when it lost its previous sponsor, but it has been hastily resuscitated.

South Africa are the defending champions, but Angola, Zimbabwe and Zambia have had the most success with three titles each since the competition was first launched in 1997.

see also
Cosafa sponsor search goes on
26 Feb 08 |  African
South Africa win Cosafa Cup
25 Oct 07 |  African
2007 Cosafa Cup
29 Sep 07 |  African

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