The Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) remains committed to the development of football in the region, despite the fact that the COSAFA Under-20 Championships will not be staged this year.
But COSAFA will instead be organising the men's Under-17 football tournament at the 2012 Zone VI U20 Games to be staged in Lusaka, Zambia from December 7-16 December 2012. COSAFA will also manage the women's Under-20 tournament at the Games.
"We are fully committed to the development of football in the COSAFA region and realise the importance of staging junior championships to assist in the nurturing of this talent. The COSAFA Under-20 Championships has grown enormously in stature over the last five years and we look forward to bringing the tournament back into our calendar shortly. In the meantime, we are looking forward to an excellent Zone VI U20 Games and trust that the football competitions in Zambia will be of the usual high standard and of great enjoyment for those who participate," says Suketu Patel, COSAFA President.
Meanwhile FIFA, together with COSAFA, will conduct a Youth Coaching course for both male and female coaches in Lusaka, Zambia during the Zone VI U20 Games. The aim is to improve the quality of coaches in the region, who then pass their new-found skills on to the youngsters under their guidance. The courses will be run by FIFA Instructors Ulrich Mathiot from Seychelles and Fran Hilton-Smith from South Africa.
The Referees appointed by COSAFA are those added to the FIFA panel for 2013 and come recommended by the FIFA Referees' Development Officer for southern Africa. They too will be put through their paces ahead of the start of the Football competitions with Fitness Tests as well as a Refresher Course conducted by the FIFA Instructors in Zambia.
Both Football competitions at the Zone VI U20 Games will kick-off on December 7 at the Nkoloma Stadium, with the finals to be staged on December 16 at the same venue.
The men's competition will see the teams split into two groups, of five teams each after Mozambique and Zimbabwe withdrew their Men's teams from their travelling party.
The teams will play each other in a round-robin format with the top two teams in each pool advancing to the semi-finals.
The women's competition has four countries, which will all play one another in a round-robin format, before heading to the semi-finals. The team that finishes top will take on the third-place side, while the second-placed nation will play the country that finishes fourth in the pool.
Both finals will be played on December 16.