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Football: Cosafa men’s under-20 Championships Seychelles take on Angola tomorrow |03 December 2019

Seychelles are taking part in the Council of Southern Africa Football Association men’s under-20 championships to be staged in Lusaka, Zambia from December 4-14.

The 12 teams have been drawn into three groups each containing four sides, with the top team in each pool advancing to the semifinals along with the best-placed runners-up.

Coached by Cliff Nolin who is assisted by Ted Esther, the Seychelles team have been drawn in group C and they will open their campaign against Angola on December 4, which is also the first match in the tournament.

The team’s second match is against Eswatini four days later, before they round out their pool play against Mozambique on December 9.

Group A contains hosts Zambia, Malawi, Comoros Islands and Botswana, while group B is made up of defending champions South Africa, Lesotho, Madagascar and Mauritius.

South Africa have claimed the last two championships. In fact, South Africa (four titles) and Zambia (three) are the only nations to have lifted the trophy in the last seven championships to have been played since 2009.

The group games will conclude on December 10, with the semifinals to be played two days later (December 12) – the winners of group B taking on the best placed runners-up, and the top two teams in groups A and C. Both games will be at the Nkoloma Stadium.

The third-place play-off will be on December 4 for the two losing semifinalists, with the final to be held later in the day when the champions for 2019 will be crowned.

In all there will be 22 games played in 11 days.

It was only on Saturday night at 7.18pm that the Seychelles Football Federation issued an email to say that the team were to leave the country early Sunday morning at 3.15am. There was no mention before that that the team were to take part in the tournament and most football fans thought that the country would once again skip it as it did for the last two Under-20 tournaments. This means Seychelles are appearing for the first time since 2016.

Yesterday, Sports NATION was able to get the whole list of the delegation who is being led by Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) chief executive George Bibi.

The country’s first appearance in the Cosafa men’s under-20 championships was way back in 2000 and following losses to Zambia (0-3) and Namibia (1-3) the team were eliminated.

In 2004, Seychelles suffered three heavy losses and exited the competition at the first round and in 2005 they lost all their four games in a five-team group.

The team suffered three defeats in 2007, but it was in 2008 that they picked up their first ever win with a 4-2 success over Namibia.

In 2011, Seychelles lost both their pool matches and all three matches in 2013 and 2016.

The Seychelles squad: Basset Mathiew, Molle Brandon, Raj Anacoura, Hedley Havelock, Junihno Mathiot, Dean Motte, Harim Radegonde, Daniel Samira, Thiery Camille, Stan Esther, Gino Pleureuse, Brandon Franchette, Erol Bastienne, Justin Riaz, Ryan Henriette, Udylan Joubert, Warren Jeanne, Kelvin Cupidon, Kelsun Brutus and Josip Ravignia.

Officials: Georges Bibi (head of delegation), Cliff Nolin (head coach), Ted Esther assistant coach), Slim William (goalkeeper coach), Damien Jean (manager) and Gracey Narty (medical officer).


Gerard Govinden

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