The inaugural women’s tournament in this age-group will be played staged in Mauritius from September 20-29, while the men’s event is in Blantyre, Malawi from October 11-20.
Hosts Mauritius have been drawn alongside Comoros, Uganda and Zambia in Group A of the Women’s Under-17 Championship. East African guest nation Uganda will bring some added flair to the event, and it is a tough pool to call.
Group B also has two island nations as Seychelles and Madagascar square-off against South Africa and Botswana.
The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals, after which the competition switches to a knockout format.
“Women’s football has been going from strength-to-strength in Southern Africa and well done to COSAFA for promoting the game as much as they have with this Under-17 event, as well as the Under-20 and senior championships that were recently held in South Africa,” says legendary FIFA Instructor Fran Hilton-Smith, who assisted with the draw.
“They look like two very competitive groups and this can only help these girls to develop their game and move on to the next level.”
The draw for the COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship has also thrown up two intriguing groups.
Hosts Malawi must tackle Botswana, South Africa and Zambia in Group A, which is an incredibly tough one to call with only two teams advancing to the next stage.
Group B contains defending champions Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique and Comoros.
“We have seen the level of boys Under-17 football grow immensely in the three years that this tournament was staged in Mauritius, and we expect it to be even higher this year,” says CAF Instructor Zunaid Mall, who was also on hand to assist with the draw.
“These are two very tough groups, but I am sure just about all the teams will fancy their chances of moving on to the semifinals. It should make for a great competition.”
WOMEN’S UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP DRAW (SEPT. 20-29)
A1 – Mauritius
A2 – Comoros
A3 – Uganda
A4 – Zambia
B1 – South Africa
B2 – Botswana
B3 – Seychelles
B4 – Madagascar
MEN’S UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP DRAW (OCT 11-20)
A1 – Malawi
A2 – South Africa
A3 – Botswana
A4 – Zambia
B1 – Angola
B2 – Lesotho
B3 – Mozambique
B4 – Comoros