The 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship will be staged in Port Elizabeth from July 31-August 11, writing another chapter in the exciting history of the greatest regional women’s tournament in Africa.
This will be the third year in a row that the competition has been staged after a hiatus, with South Africa defending he crown they won in Port Elizabeth last year.
Here is the tournament, and women’s football in Africa, by the numbers!
1 – The number of COSAFA sides that have qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup … South Africa became the first when they made their debut in France in 2019!
2 – South Africa will be hosting the COSAFA Women’s Championship for the first time. Zimbabwe have hosted on three previous occasions, with Zambia and Angola staging the event once each.
2 – Namibia (2006) and Angola (2008) have both appeared in the final of the COSAFA Women’s Championship before but have yet to lift the trophy.
2 – The number of nations who have won the African Women’s Championship. Nigeria have 11 titles and Equatorial Guinea two. Nigeria edged South Africa again in 2018 when they defeated Banyana Banyana on penalties following a 0-0 draw in the final.
2 – The number of venues that will be used for the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship in Port Elizabeth – the 10,000-seater Wolfson Stadium and the more intimate Gelvandale Stadium.
2 – Two COSAFA nations qualified for the 2018 African Women’s Championship in Ghana, namely South Africa and Zambia. South Africa have been runners-up on five previous occasions, while Zambia’s best finish in their three previous visits to the finals was the quarterfinals in 1995.
3 – Zambia have finished third at the COSAFA Women’s Championship on three occasions but have yet to reach the final!
5 – South Africa have won the COSAFA Women’s Championship on five previous occasions – 2002, 2006, 2008, 2017 and 2018. They also made the final in 2011 but lost to hosts Zimbabwe.
6 – The number of COSAFA countries that have competed at the African Women’s Championship in the past – South Africa (12 times), Zimbabwe (four), Zambia (three), Angola (two), Namibia and Mozambique. Reunion also made an appearance in 2000.
7 – This year’s COSAFA Women’s Championship will be the seventh time the regional showpiece competition has been held.
10 – Zimbabwean hot-shot Rutendo Makore was top-scorer at the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship with 10 goals but could not fire her side to a final win.
12 – The number of teams that will compete at the COSAFA Women’s Championship in Port Elizabeth this year, the joint biggest ever field for the showpiece tournament.
12 – South African striker Noko Matlou banged in 12 goals in the 2008 COSAFA Women’s Championship, which helped her lift the CAF Women’s Footballer of the Year prize that season. She is still part of the team but is now a central defender.
15 – The number of goals scored by Zimbabwe when they defeated Lesotho 15-0 in their Group A clash in 2002. The biggest win in COSAFA Women’s Championship history.
31 – The number of goals scored by South Africa in their three COSAFA Women’s Championship Group B matches in 2002. They beat Botswana (14-0), Mozambique (13-0) and Swaziland (4-0) on their way to the title.
31 – The 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship is set to start on July 31, with the final to be played 12 days later.
49 – South Africa are the top-ranked side in the COSAFA region according to the FIFA Women’s World Rankings at number 49. They are the third best team in Africa according to the list after Nigeria and Cameroon.
140 – The number of national teams playing women’s soccer around the world. A total of 26 of those are from Africa.