COSAFA President Philip Chiyangwa says the region is proud after five nations from Southern Africa qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the biggest number of representatives at the tournament in twenty-one years.

South Africa and Zimbabwe completed the list on Sunday, with Namibia, Angola and Madagascar booking their tickets to Egypt earlier on.

The quintet will do battle at the expanded 24-team competition from June 21-July 19, with the draw for the first-round pool stages scheduled for Cairo on April 12.

“We are immensely proud of the teams from our region who will fly the COSAFA flag in Egypt and believe this shows the growing strength of football in Southern Africa,” said Chiyangwa told COSAFA website.

“We believe this is a direct result of the work we at COSAFA have been doing at senior and junior national team level to help develop players in the region and give them exposure on the international stage.

“Players who have been unearthed in our Under-17 and Under-20 tournaments in the last few years are now stars of their senior teams and that is the exciting pathway that COSAFA provides.

“We wish all the teams the very best at the finals in Egypt and also commiserate with those who came close to qualification, but narrowly missed out.”

Lesotho could have joined the Southern African contingent, but a draw in Cape Verde saw them missing out along with Comoros Islands who needed a win in Cameroon but lost 3-0 to see their dream come to an end.

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