Kenya land easy group in Cosafa women’s tourney

Thursday August 24 2017

Harambee Starlets players celebrate a goal against Burundi during their Cecafa Women Championship's match at the Fufa Technical Centre on September 13, 2016 in Jinja. PHOTO | AMINAH BABIRYE |

Harambee Starlets players celebrate a goal against Burundi during their Cecafa Women Championship's match at the Fufa Technical Centre on September 13, 2016 in Jinja. PHOTO | AMINAH BABIRYE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By CELLESTINE OLILO
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Kenya has been drawn in a relatively easy looking group in the Cosafa Women’s Championship set to be held between September 13 and 24 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

In the draw conducted on Wednesday in Johannesburg, Harambee Starlets were placed in Group B alongside Mozambique, Swaziland and Mauritius.

Hosts and defending champions Zimbabwe were drawn in Group A together with Zambia, Madagascar and Malawi while three-time champions South Africa are in Group C with Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana.

The Kenyan ladies, who are making a maiden appearance at the competition as guests, will be eyeing top spot in the group and qualification to the quarter-finals.

Starlets, the only 2016 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations participants in the group will fancy their chances.

The tournament is organised by the Confederation of South African Football Associations (Cosafa), and is open to all its 14 member countries including Madagascar, Seychelles and South Africa.

They Kenyan team though, has yet to report to camp, although the starlets under 20 team are currently camping at the Machakos County Stadium in preparation for a tournament to be played next week in Jordan.

Kenya is the only country that has entered the competition on invitational basis this year, taking the place of Tanzania who played as guest nation in 2011 when the competition was last held.  
The Cosafa women’s soccer cup is a rendition of the Cecafa Women’s Championship which was held for the first time last year in Jinja, Uganda, and which is expected to be held in Rwanda this November.

Zimbabwe are the defending champions of the competition which returns after a five-year hiatus largely occasioned by lack of sufficient funds.

The competition will be staged at the Barbourfields Stadium and the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

This will be the first international engagement for the senior women’s team, and the team coaches and players are not allowed by the federation to speak to the media regarding team preparations as a mechanism to protect them against unnecessary media attention. 

Draw:
Group A: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi

Group B: Kenya Mozambique, Swaziland, Mauritius

Group C: South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho