The short notice has placed COSAFA Cup organisers in a tight spot and despite canvasing far and wide across the continent for a replacement, the timeframe simply did not allow for a new participant with the tournament to get under way in Durban this weekend.
It means that this year’s Group A will contain three teams – eSwatini, Mauritius and Comoros Islands – giving one of those sides an excellent opportunity to reach the quarterfinals and set up a date with defending champions Zimbabwe on June 1.
The change has also forced a revision of the fixture list, with the COSAFA Cup now to kick-off with a vlash between eSwatini and Mauritius at the King Zwelithini on Saturday (kick-off 16h30).
eSwatini will then tackle Comoros on May 27 (17h00), before Group A is completed with a match between Comoros and Mauritius two days later (17h30). Both those matches are also at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
Three-times winners Angola have missed two previous COSAFA Cup tournaments – the very first one in 1997 and also four years in 2015.
REVISED 2019 COSAFA CUP DRAW
|25/05||16h30||A||eSwatini vs Mauritius||King Zwelithini|
|26/05||14h00||B||Mozambique vs Namibia||King Zwelithini|
|26/05||16h30||B||Malawi vs Seychelles||King Zwelithini|
|27/05||17h00||A||eSwatini vs Comoros||King Zwelithini|
|28/05||15h00||B||Seychelles vs Mozambique||King Zwelithini|
|28/05||17h30||B||Namibia vs Malawi||King Zwelithini|
|29/05||17h30||A||Comoros vs Mauritius||King Zwelithini|
|30/05||17h30||B||Mozambique vs Malawi||King Zwelithini|
|30/05||17h30||B||Namibia vs Seychelles||Princess Magogo|
|01/06||15h00||13||Lesotho vs Uganda||Princess Magogo|
|01/06||17h30||14||Zimbabwe vs Winner Grp A||Princess Magogo|
|02/06||15h00||15||South Africa vs Botswana||Princess Magogo|
|02/06||17h30||16||Zambia vs Winner Grp B||Princess Magogo|
|04/06||17h00||17||Loser M13 vs Loser M15||Moses Mabhida|
|04/06||19h30||18||Loser M14 vs Loser M16||Moses Mabhida|
|05/06||17h00||19||Winner M13 vs Winner M15||Moses Mabhida|
|05/06||19h30||20||Winner M14 vs Winner M16||Moses Mabhida|
|07/06||17h00||21||Winner M17 vs Winner M18||Moses Mabhida|
|CUP THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF|
|07/06||19h30||22||Loser M19 vs Loser M20||Moses Mabhida|
|08/06||15h00||23||Winner M19 vs Winner M20||Moses Mabhida|