The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations can confirm the COSAFA Castle Cup 2016, to be hosted in Namibia, will now be staged from June 11-25.
The change in dates from the month of May are due to the later than usual end to the South African Premier Soccer League, which contains key players from a number of nations in the region.
The top two divisions in South Africa end their league season on May 21, with the Nedbank Cup to be staged on May 28. Thereafter players will disperse across the continent for African Nations Cup qualifier duty, with the COSAFA Castle Cup 2016 to be held directly after those engagements.
“We have decided to move the dates of the COSAFA Castle Cup 2016 so as to give every competing nation the opportunity to bring their best squads to Namibia,” Timothy Shongwe, Chairman of the Organising Committee, said.
“This is the flagship tournament for Southern Africa and we want to make sure that we see the very best talent the region has to offer on display.” Invitations have been sent to the 14 COSAFA member associations, with a deadline of March 11 set for the confirmation of their participation.
Namibia, who are the current holders of the COSAFA Castle Cup after their victory in South Africa in May last year, will be hosting the tournament for the first time.
The 14 members of COSAFA are Angola, Botswana, the Comoros Islands, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.