Cosafa Cup: Angola withdrawal weakens tournament further

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Zimbabwe celebrate after their dramatic victory over Zambia in the 2018 Cosafa Cup final

Angola have withdrawn from southern Africa’s regional championship, the Cosafa Cup, that is due to begin on Saturday.

They are the second African Cup of Nations-bound country after Madagascar who will not use the Cosafa Cup to prepare for finals in Egypt.

Their withdrawals mean only 13 countries will be taking part in the tournament in Durban.

“Despite canvassing far and wide across the continent for a replacement, the timeframe simply did not allow for a new participant,” a Cosafa statement said.

Group A will contain three teams – Comoros Islands, eSwatini and Mauritius – with the winner advancing to the quarter-final against champions Zimbabwe on 1 June.

Group B which contains Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and the Seychelles will begin on Sunday.

Namibia are also Egypt-bound and have named a B team for their Cosafa participation to keep their star players at home for Egypt preparations.

South Africa are sending an under-23 side while Uganda, who are a guest team, are also under cooked for the event.

They both enter the tournament at the quarter-final stage next weekend.

Only defending champions Zimbabwe are expected to take a full strength squad to both the Cosafa Cup and Nations Cup.

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