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Botswana to brace themselves as the hosts for the Metropolitan COSAFA Under-20 Youth Challenge

By FOCUS REPORTER  

GABORONE’s Grand Palm Hotel Casino Resort provided the setting today for the launch of the 2011 edition of the Metropolitan COSAFA U-20 Youth Championship, which takes place in Botswana from 1 to 10 December. This is the second consecutive year that the tournament will be hosted by Botswana, following the enormous success of last year’s event, the first to be held beyond the borders of South Africa. The competition draw was also made, in which the teams were divided into their respective groups for the first round. Matches will be contested at two venues: the University of Botswana Stadium in Gaborone and the Municipal Stadium in Molepolole.  

Current champions, Zambia, will be looking to complete a hat trick of titles, having secured the trophy in 2009 in Johannesburg, before successfully defending it in Gaborone in 2010. They will face a stiff challenge from their regional counterparts, though, with South Africa having made great strides since their disappointing first round exit, and Namibia, who gallantly won through to last year’s final against all odds, aiming to topple the Young Chipolopolo from their perch. Botswana, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Angola, too, are likely to be hoping for a better return this time around, while Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius and Malawi might just surprise us by overcoming the opposition. 

Managing Director of Metropolitan’s Botswana division, Oupa Mothibatsela told the assembled media, “As Metropolitan expands its business interests further into Africa, it is increasingly important for us to make direct contact with our target market as well as our existing clientele. Metropolitan has always considered football to be a valuable conduit in the process of community development and a tangible means of making a positive difference in the lives of the people in the areas in which we operate. The long-term benefit of investing in youth is one of the cornerstones of Metropolitan’s corporate philosophy, and underpins our partnership with COSAFA.

“The resounding success of last year’s tournament has given rise to a level of anticipation for this year’s tournament that is likely to ensure an even better experience than 2010,” he added.

Metropolitan’s relationship with the COSAFA U20 Youth Championship stretches back to 2006, when Mahikeng, in the North West, played host. Since then, Thulamahashe in Mpumalanga, Kimberley in the Northern Cape and Soweto in Gauteng have all delivered first class productions. It is Metropolitan policy to use the local suppliers, thereby providing a timely economic boost and stimulate growth that can be felt long afterwards. Every sponsored event contains a Life Skills component that serves to inform the young players about a variety of issues, including HIV/AIDS and financial responsibility, that they are likely to encounter as they enter adulthood. 

Botswana Football Association (BFA) President, David Fani said the choice of Botswana for a second successive time was a great source of pride to the nation. “The sterling efforts of the Botswana Football Association and the national government in conjunction with Metropolitan’s support has proven that we can do great things together and look forward to making this event even more of a success this year. ,” he said.

COSAFA Competitions Committee Chairman, Timothy Shongwe reiterated the sentiments, adding, “COSAFA appreciates the support of the private sector in helping to achieve our mandate of plotting the course of development football in southern Africa. To this end, the contribution of Metropolitan has been nothing short of invaluable to the ongoing success of one of the most important stages in the development process, the U-20 age group. Moreover, the accomplishment with which government structures and football authorities met the logistical challenges of running the tournament, made it an easy decision to bring it back to Botswana again this year.”

This year’s Metropolitan COSAFA Under-20 Youth Challenge fixtures:

GROUP A

A1

Botswana

A2

Comoros

A3

Swaziland

A4

Mozambique

GROUP B

B1

Seychelles

B2

Malawi

B3

Lesotho

 

 


GROUP C

C1

Zambia

C2

Tanzania

C3

South Africa

C4

Mauritius

GROUP D

D1

Angola

D2

Madagascar

D3

Namibia

D4

Zimbabwe


 

 

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