THE 2018 Cosafa Under-17 Championships slated for Mauritius, between 19 and 29 July are a great opportunity for talent scouts to tap into the regiona��s future stars. B-Metro Sport gives you a dummiesa�� guide to the history of the tournament.
1 a�� No nation from the Cosafa region has managed to lift the African Under-17 Championship in the past. South Africa came closest when they picked up a silver medal in 2015. Malawi also finished fourth in 2009.
2 a�� There are two venues for the 2017 Cosafa Under-17 Championship a�� Auguste Vollaire Stadium in Flacq and St Francois Xavier Stadium in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis.
3 a�� Mauritius are hosts of the Cosafa Under-17 Championship for the third year running after also staging the event in 2016 and 2017.
5 a�� There have been five other tournaments played loosely under the banner of a regional Under-17 championship. South Africa have won two of these in 1994 and 2002, Malawi claimed success in 2001, Namibia were victorious in 2016 and Zambia claimed the title last year.
5 a�� Three players managed to score five goals in last yeara��s Cosafa Under-17 Championship and ended up joint top-scorers a�� Lameck Banda (Zambia), Junior Nare (South Africa), Martin Njobvu (Zambia)
8 a�� The most goals scored in a single game in last yeara��s championship was eight as Zambia beat Madagascar 7-1.
12 a�� There will be a record 12 teams entered the 2018 Cosafa Under-17 Championship. Group A contains the hosts Mauritius, Botswana, 2016 champions Namibia and Seychelles. Group B promises to be a hard-fought one with defending champions Zambia up against regional powerhouse rivals South Africa, Mozambique and Lesotho. Group C also has an unpredictable air about it as Zimbabwe face-off against Angola, Malawi and Swaziland.
14 a�� The Cosafa Under-17 Championship is open to all 14 of the nations that make up the Southern African regional body. Only Comoros and Madagascar declined to compete in 2018.
19 a�� The 2018 Cosafa Under-17 Championship starts on July 19 and runs to July 29.
22 a�� The 2018 Cosafa Under-17 Championship features 22 matches, 18 in the first-round group stage, two semifinals, a third-place play-off and a final.
54 a�� There were 54 goals scored in the 16 matches played at the 2017 Cosafa Under-17 Championship, an average of more than three per game!
2019 a�� The Cosafa Under-17 Championship serves as a qualifier for the 2019 African Under-17 Championships to be played in Tanzania.
They in turn serve as qualifiers for the Fifa Under-17 World Cup next year.
Cosafa Under-17 Championship wins (0): None
Last yearsa�� finish: Group Stages
African Under-17 Championship appearances (4): 1997, 1999, 2005, 2009
Best finish: Group Stages (1997, 1999, 2005, 2009)
Fifa Under-17 World Cup appearances (0): None
2018 Cosafa Under-17 Championship fixtures:
20 /07: vs Swaziland a�� 12h30 a�� Auguste Vollaire Stadium
23 /07: vs Malawi a�� 12h00 a�� St Francois Xavier Stadium
25/ 07: vs Angola a�� 15h30 a�� St Francois Xavier Stadium
For a country that has produced so many top players down the years, Zimbabwe have perhaps not done as well as they might at Under-17 level.
The Southern African giants are yet to lift the regional Cosafa Under-17 Championship title, which is a surprising statistic for such a power of the African game.
Zimbabwe have, however, qualified for the African Under-17 Championships on four previous occasions, more than any other side from the region.