Three Afcon-bound countries snub Cosafa Cup, Zim to follow suit?

Namibia has announced that they will not use the 2019 Cosafa tournament as a preparatory platform for Afcon finals, becoming the latest country after South Africa and Madagascar to make such decision.

Five countries, including Zimbabwe, from the region, will take part at the Afcon 2019 set for Egypt from June 21, two weeks after the Cosafa competition had ended in Durban.

The Brave Warriors coach Ricardo Mannetti revealed on Monday that he intends to play North-African countries like Tunisia and Algeria for friendlies instead of using the Cosafa Cup for preparations.

Madagascar were the first to take such decision and announced in April that they will not be able to send a team at the regional tournament and were replaced by another Afcon-bound side, Uganda.

Bafana Bafana followed up with coach Stuart Baxter informing the media last week about plans of fielding a developmental side at Cosafa.

Zambia, though not going to Egypt, recently named a preliminary squad dominated by local players.

These developments might force the Warriors to follow suit as the teams at the tournament will not be able to give a competition that is sufficient for their Afcon preparations.

The high profile friendly match against Nigeria which has been scheduled on a date, 8 June, when the Cosafa event will still be running is another crucial factor in this case.

The Warriors technical, led by Sunday Chidzambwa, might also consider having two separate squads since there is a possibility of meeting Uganda at the Cosafa Cup. The two teams are in the same group at Afcon and would want to avoid playing each other before clashing at the big stage in Egypt.

Zifa is yet to announce the plans but a move of having to separate squads is now likely to happen.

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