Lesotho’s senior soccer squad Likuena will take part in this year’s edition of the regional Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) Cup to be staged in Durban, South Africa running from May 25 to June 8 this year.
Speaking in an interview, Likuena team manager Rantsubise Matete said he was aware that Durban city has been officially announced as the host city for the 2019 edition of the COSAFA Cup on Wednesday last week.
Matete said he was duly informed by the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) Secretary General of the last development and confirmed that Likuena will be taking part at the tournament, even though he said he was yet to meet with the technical team to discuss way forward.
“The COSAFA Cup is our tournament as we usually do well in that competition even though it has eluded us but our ultimate aim is to win it,” he confirmed.
Matete explained that the current Likuena B team which is in training now for the next four weeks since last week is only aimed to be a feeder team to the senior national team Likuena.
He pointed out that the Likuena B team is not meant for the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers or the COSAFA Cup, adding that head coach Moses Maliehe will select some of the players and will be at liberty to make more additional players to beef up the team.
The tournament will run from May 25 to June 8 and will be the last preparation for Southern African teams before they compete at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Those teams are South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, Angola, Madagascar, Namibia and Zimbabwe, who pulled out of the hosting of the event due to financial reasons.
According to a statement released by COSAFA, it will be hosted in partnership with the South African Football Association and the Ethekwini Municipality, with venues around the city to enrich the 14-team competition.
Princess Magogo Stadium (KwaMashu), King Zwelithini (Umlazi) and Moses Mabhida will be the venues that will be used for this year’s competition.
“We are delighted to host what we believe will be the best ever COSAFA Cup in Durban, a city steeped in sporting history with the most magnificent facilities,” COSAFA president Philip Chiyangwa was quoted as having said by the South African media.
The draw for the group stage of the competition is likely to be held in the first week of May, with the format unchanged from previous years.
The 14 nations are Angola, Botswana, Comoros, eSwatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.