Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) administration has applauded Botswana and other Southern African nations for fielding young and upcoming players to the regional showpiece.
Botswana displayed one of the best performances at the just-ended tournament after they made it to the finals before losing 3-2 on penalties to South Africa. Recently COSAFA boss Sue Destombies praised the efforts of regional teams that participated in the tournament sponsored by Castle lager. Destombies said the teams fielded younger players, which was a right step in the right direction for a tournament that is not fully supported by FIFA.
Destombies said the regional tournament provides a perfect platform for regional teams to build their strong national teams so that they can be competitive in international competitions. The remarks came after football critics complained that unlike previous editions, competing countries are not giving the regional tournament the seriousness it deserves, as they only send their second string teams that do not raise the profile of the tournament.
In this year’s COSAFA tournament most countries sent teams made up of young players or a mixture of the young and old guard. Angola set a good example after they fielded a youthful squad with some players under 19 years including the talented goalkeeper Joao Eduardo, who is only 15 years.
This was a welcome move on the road to building future Parlances Negros since the current team has failed to stand the rigorous demands against their African opponents to qualify for either 2017 Afcon and FIFA 2018 Russia world cup finals.
The same can be said for Bafana-Bafana who had sent their youthful team that has qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic games. On the other hand, the ever-evolving Botswana brought in their new guard dubbed the ‘future Zebras.’ Malawi also brought in a blend of young and experienced players.