Botswana have withdrawn from the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship to be hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, citing an inability to secure the release of players from schools due to final year exams.
The news of the return to football in Africa following the Covid 19 pandemic disturbance was accompanied by the announcement of the hosting of the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa between November 3 and the 14th.
This was to run concurrently with the U17 tournament, making them the first to be hosted in the continent post the lockdown period.
The COSAFA Women’s U17 Championship has suffered a casualty with Botswana indicating that they will no longer be able to take part at this year’s edition as they cannot secure the availability of their players who will be busy writing exams during the period.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases in Botswana, mainly in schools and the lost schooling time were also noted as challenges necessitating the unavailability of Dipitse from the competition.
Botswana will however still be sending their senior women’s side to their competition.
The development means that the competition will be reduced to five teams, and in turn provides a change of format into a single group where all sides play one-another in a round-robin format.
That ensures four matches for the remaining sides, who are hosts South Africa, Comoros, East African guest nation Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The fixtures will be decided on Thursday when the draw is made for the competition, along with the senior COSAFA Women’s Championship that will also be staged in Nelson Mandela Bay from November 3-14.
Zimbabwe who only last week received the green light to return to football action although certain procedures will have to be met, have their work cut out after months of inactivity.
The Young Mighty Warriors then coached by Garthly Chipuka were last in action in January this year where they were humiliated by Botswana in a World Cup qualifier.