Cosafa U17 Women’s Cup: Tournament postponed due to coronavirus fears


The girls’ championship scheduled for next month in Mauritius has been moved indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic

2020 Council of Southern African Football Associations U17 Women’s Cup which was set to take place in Mauritius from April 17-26 has been rescheduled owing to the Covid-19 virus.

Cosafa announced at a press conference on Monday, with Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Jugnauth explaining the nation’s decision was in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The postponement is coming days after the group stage draw was held at Hilton Hotel, Sandton in Johannesburg last Wednesday.

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The draw saw Mauritius, Malawi, Eswatini and Botswana pitched in Group A, while last year’s runners-up South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Comoros were zoned into Group B.

In the same vein, Cosafa General Secretary Sue Destombes admits unhappiness over the rescheduling of the event, while insisting the move is to ensure the safety of life in the region.

“While we are disappointed that the tournament will be postponed, we are respectful of the decision by the Mauritius government to take appropriate steps to safeguard its citizens during this global crisis,” Destombes told the media.

“The health of the public, players, coaches and administrators has to be the top priority and so, like much of the footballing world, we will wait to find the right time to stage this vital competition for the development of our women’s footballers.

“We continue to engage with our valued partners in the Mauritius Football Association and will announce new dates as soon as is feasible.

“These are uncertain times and so we thank the people of Southern Africa, sponsors and all stakeholders for their patience.” 

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The tournament is scheduled to be played at Saint Francois Xavier Stadium in Port Louis and the Auguste Vollaire Stadium in Flacq.

The Southern African country is yet to report a case of the deadly virus and has placed a ban on entry to travellers from China, Iran, Italy or South Korea in efforts to combat the outbreak.

Dreams of the eight nations to claim regional glory has now been put on hold following the absence of inaugural champions Uganda, who defeated South Africa 2-1 last August in Mauritius.

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