COSAFA Cup trophy tour kicks off tomorrow

20May 2019
The Guardian
COSAFA Cup trophy tour kicks off tomorrow

THE 2019 COSAFA Cup Trophy Tour is set to get under way on Tuesday as Durban gears up for a festival of football with the staging of the Southern African championship from May 25-June 8.

Fans in the eThekwini Municipality will be able to get up close to the trophy, and some exciting South African football legends, when the coveted prize is paraded over two days this coming week.

Tournament sponsor, Hollywoodbets, will be part of the tour, bringing some razzmatazz to the event. 

 

The trophy will travel in an open-top bus from King Dinizulu Park to City Hall Church Walk on Tuesday, May 21, where it will be handed over to the Mayor, Cllr Zandile Gumede. The route will also go through Durban’s busiest street, Pixley KaSeme Street.

 

The trophy and the football legends will then make a stop at Ogwini High School in Umlazi), the biggest place of learning in terms of enrolment in KwaZulu-Natal with over 3,500 leaners.

 

The school is close to one of the match venues for the COSAFA Cup, the King Zwelithini Stadium, where the opening matches will be played on May 25.

 

The trophy will then make its way back to City Hall, but will stop at Mnyandu Mall, Mangosuthu University of Technology, uMlazi Mega City Mall, SJ Smith hostel, UKZN Howard College, Jacobs Hostel, The Market, DUT Steve Biko and Berea Centre to engage with fans.  

 

On Wednesday, the trophy will visit Mzuvele High School in KwaMashu, which is near to another of the COSAFA Cup venues, the Princess Magogo Stadium.

 

After engaging with learners, the convoy, together with the football legends, will make stops at Bridge City Mall, KwaMashu Hostel, KwaMashu Station, eThekwini College- Springfield Campus, Yusuf Dadoo Branch and Spar-Point Road as it makes its way back to City Hall.

 

The COSAFA Cup will see 14 teams compete over two weeks of action, each seeking to become champion of the region.

 

Hosts South Africa will enter the competition at the quarterfinal stage on June 2 when they take on old foes Botswana.

 

It will be a fourth year in a row South Africa takes on The Zebras.

The semi-finals and final on June 8 will be played at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Mauritius have named their final squad for the 2019 COSAFA Cup to be staged in Durban from May 25-June 8 as they seek to end a long run of first round exits.  

 

The islanders have not been past the first stage of the competition in their last 10 attempts, since they reached the quarterfinals in 2004.

 

As ever they go into the tournament with plenty of hope of changing that and coach Akbar Patel has named a strong 23-man squad to achieve that aim.

 

Included is veteran goalkeeper Kevin Jean-Louis and experienced forward Giano Fabrice Li Tien Kee, with the youngest member of the squad 20-year-old midfielder Adrien Francois. 

 

Mauritius will open their Group A campaign against fellow islanders Comoros in what is also the first game of the tournament at the King Zwelithini Stadium on May 25.

 

Mauritius caused arguably the biggest upset in COSAFA Cup history in 2004 when they beat South Africa, who had a full-strength team headed to the African Nations Cup finals in Tunisia, in the first round in Curepipe.

 

Mauritiius are still seeking to get past the quarterfinal stage of the southern African championship.

 

In 2001, Mauritius did make that stage after beating Namibia and but then lost 1-0 to Angola in Luanda.

 

In 2004 their hopes were dashed in the last eight when they went down 3-1 to Zambia. Four years later they suffered the indignity of a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of fellow islanders, Seychelles, the biggest defeat in the history of the competition.

 

Last year they did fare so well, despite winning their opener 1-0 against Malawi. That was followed by a defeat by the same score line to Angola, and a 6-0 loss to Botswana.

              Mauritius squad:Goalkeepers: Christopher Caserne, Kevin Jean-Louis

 

Defenders: Kerlson Agathe, Jean Fabrice Augustin, Clarel Mathieu Jackson, Mamainiana Francis Rasolofonirina, Emmanuel Jason Selmour Jean, Emmanuel Rudy Vincent Jean, Marco Dorza Louis, Didier L’enfle Jean

 

Midfielders: Mervyn Jocelyn Jean, Bernard Jubeau Jean, Joseph Stephan Kevin Perticots, Luther Murphy Rose, Jonathan Speville, Walter Duprey St Martin, Fabrice Brasse, Adrien Francois

 

Forwards: Adrien Botlar, Stephan Nabab Jean, Ashley Nazira Steven, Jacques Desire Patate Jean, Giano Fabrice Li Tien Kee