When: October 29-31
Where: Bingu National Stadium, Lilongwe, Malawi
What: CAF African Schools Championship | COSAFA Qualifier
How to follow online: COSAFA.TV, FIFA+
The COSAFA qualifier for the CAF African Schools Championship will be played over three days in Lilongwe, Malawi, from Saturday, where some of the best youngsters aged 12-15 will be able to showcase their talent and win a place at the continental finals.
WHO IS PLAYING?
There are six teams in the boys’ competition and five in the girls. The boys’ schools taking part are as follows:
Clapham High (South Africa)
Ile Perseverance (Seychelles)
IQRA School (Comoros)
Thamaga JSS (Botswana)
Salima Secondary (Malawi)
The five girls schools are:
Malindi Secondary (Malawi)
Anse Boileau (Seychelles)
Mothamo JSS (Botswana)
GS Ningha (Comoros)
Edendale Technical (South Africa)
WHO WILL BE ATTENDING?
The competition will kick-off on Saturday, where Confederation of African Football President Dr Patrice Motsepe will be in attendance.
He will be joined by a host of dignitaries from the Malawian government, as well as COSAFA President Artur de Almeida e Silva, and Football Association of Malawi President Walter Nyamilandu.
WHAT IS THE FORMAT?
The boys schools have been split into two pools, each containing three teams. They play each other in a round-robin format. The top two teams in each pool advance to the semifinals, with the teams that finish third playing off for fifth place.
In the girls’ competition, the teams will play in a single group of five sides that will contest matches in a round-robin format. Teams will earn three points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss, with the top side in the mini-league declared the winner.
To view the list of fixtures, click here.
WHAT ARE THE PRIZES ON OFFER?
Apart from the honour of being crowned regional champions, the winning boys’ and girls’ school will play in the continental finals.
There will also be monetary prizes – US$100,000 for the winners in Lilongwe, US$75,000 for the runners-up and US$50,000 the third-place side. This is the same for boys and girls.
That jumps up considerately in the continental championships to US$300,000 (winners), US$200,000 (second) and US$150,000 (third).
WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC REGULATIONS FOR THIS COMPETITION?
Matches are played on a ‘half-pitch’. Each team will consist of eight players and matches last 40 minutes, two periods of 20 minutes separated by a 10-minute break.
One of the features of the fixtures is that there are unlimited substitutions, meaning coaches can keep rotating the players they have on the pitch.
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
There are various other activities that will take place around the competition.
Young Referees Workshop
A workshop for young referees, giving participants a life-changing opportunity to be schooled by some of the best on the continent and set them on a path to a long career as an official. There will be both a practical and theory element to the course that will be staged over the four days.
Young Reporters Workshop
Budding media moguls will be taken through their paces in a workshop for journalists that gives them an insight into every aspect of running a media campaign at a major competition.
Young Coaches Workshop
A three-day course for young coaches, another excellent chance to upskill budding tacticians through the knowledge and insight of some of the best practitioners on the continent.
All the boys and girls at the event will be taken through safeguarding activities at some to not only provide them with information on the social impact of football, but also explain the measures that CAF have put in place to create a safe environment for the children.