The 2023 CAF African Schools Football Championship COSAFA Qualifiers kicked off with an exhilarating first day in Harare, featuring talented young footballers from the COSAFA region. The atmosphere at Gateway High School was festive as teams competed in various matches, with more action scheduled for Friday and the final showdowns for both Boys’ and Girls’ divisions set for Saturday.
This year marks the second season of this dynamic youth football event by CAF, currently in the Zonal Qualifier phase. The tournament follows successful editions in the WAFU B and CECAFA regions. Alongside the football excitement, CAF is also leading several developmental initiatives parallel to the games. These include programmes for young reporters, referees, medical officers, and coaches.
In the Boys’ competition, Zimbabwe and Malawi are leading Group A with six points each. Malawi has the advantage, having beaten Zimbabwe 4-0, while Zimbabwe bounced back with victories against Botswana (4-1) and Eswatini (3-1). Malawi also triumphed over Mozambique with a 3-0 win. Day two promises more action, as Mozambique also beat Eswatini 2-1.
Group B sees South Africa with six points, including a default win against Zambia and a dominant 7-0 victory over Angola, highlighted by Rhys Ferguson’s hattrick. Namibia matches South Africa’s points with a 2-0 win over Madagascar and a walkover from Zambia.
In the Girls’ category, Botswana leads Group A after winning against Eswatini (5-1) and Zimbabwe (1-0). Malawi is close behind with four points, having defeated Zimbabwe 3-0 and drawn with Mozambique. Zimbabwe faces a challenging day ahead to climb up the rankings.
South Africa tops Group B with a resounding 14-0 win over Angola and a walkover from Zambia. Namibia sits in second place with four points, following a goalless draw with Madagascar and a walkover win against Zambia.