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COSAFA confirms Mehalalitoe participation

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Leemisa Thuseho

THE Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) has confirmed the Lesotho women’s national team, Mehalalitoe’s, late registration for the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship.

This year’s edition will be held from 3 to 14 November in South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay.

“Two more nations have been added to the field for the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championships, bringing the total number of teams to 10 for the regional event in Nelson Mandela Bay from 3 to 14 November,” COSAFA said in a statement on Thursday.

“The relaxation of government Covid-19 regulations in Lesotho and eSwatini has allowed those two countries to make a welcome late entry into the competition. It means there will be a change in format, with three pools instead of the two that were initially planned.”

Lesotho last appeared in the 2018 competition having missed out on last year’s spectacle.

Group A will have four teams, while Group B and C will have three each. The top side in each pool will advance to the semifinals, along with the best-placed runner-up.

Aside from the late entrants, the field also includes Angola, Botswana, Comoros Islands, Malawi, hosts South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and East African guests Tanzania.

The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) also confirmed the team’s enrollment.

“Mehalalitoe has been registered for the COSAFA championship. Mehalalitoe will start their preparations this Friday and they will be the first of LeFA national teams to make a return to competitive football.

“LeFA is confident that Mehalalitoe will lead the way in showing the association’s readiness for the return of football in the country. Our senior women’s senior team has been out of action for over six months but must work around the clock to get ready to compete at this regional tournament,” LeFA said.

Last week, the LeFA media officer Mikia Kalati attributed the delay in confirming the country’s participation to the suspension of sporting activities in the country and banning of international travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mehalalitoe is now returning to international competitions, a year after its suspension. LeFA suspended the team’s participation in international competitions to focus on rebuilding it.

 

 

 

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