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Cosafa Beach Soccer Championship |13 November 2021

Seychelles team to leave tomorrow for Durban


Seychelles will be taking part in the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations Beach Soccer Championship which will be played in the South African coastal city of Durban in South Africa from November 17-21, 2021.

The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Beach Soccer Championship is making a return to the region’s football calendar after the inaugural championship hosted by Seychelles in 2015 and won by Madagascar.

Seychelles are among the seven teams taking part in the championship in Durban and the draw is expected to take place today. The other countries are hosts South Africa, Angola, Comoros, Madagascar, Mozambique, and East African guest country Tanzania.

Coached by former Seychelles international Don Anacoura who is assisted by two ex-national team players ‒ Alpha Baldé and Allen Larue ‒ the Seychelles team are expected to leave tomorrow for Durban.

The 14 players selected for the trip are Terrence Ahmad, Mike Balette, Dominique Bouchereau, Nadim Lucas, Davis Léon, Hansel Coeur de Lion, Robinson Cadeau, Lordy Sinon, Romany Richard, Michel Joubert, Marlon Sophola, Julio Ladouce, Kris Larue and Collin Tirant.

Sophola, Ladouce, Larue and Tirant are all players of 11-a-side football who have been included in the team and it is not clear how this is possible, since the Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) does not allow players of 11-a-side football to play beach soccer.

Damien Jean is the head of delegation, Dominic Savy the team manager and Wilna Figaro the physiotherapist.

The teams will play in two pools in the group stage with group A containing four sides and group B will have three. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the semifinals.

“We are delighted to have beach soccer back on our calendar and intend making this an annual event in the future,” Cosafa general secretary Sue Destombes was quoted as saying on the Cosafa website.

She added: “It is another sphere of football that is growing fast, as we saw at the recent 2021 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup in Russia.

“Senegal and our own Mozambique flew the flag for Africa in that competition and we know that there is extraordinary talent in the Cosafa region waiting to be given the platform to shine.

“We thank our valued partners, the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial government and City of eThekwini, for assisting us with the staging of this event after a six-year gap from the inaugural competition in Seychelles. Without their support this would not be possible.”

Cosfa signed a three-year partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and the City of eThekwini to host several of the region’s tournaments in Durban, including the flagship Cosafa Cup.

The agreement runs from August 2021 to December 2023, and provides the Cosafa Cup, Cosafa Women’s Champions League and Cosafa Beach Soccer competition with certainty over the hosting of the trio of annual events in what are the most uncertain of times.

The three tournaments will be staged in the coastal city each year over that period, making use of the world-class football facilities on offer and the excellent all-round infrastructure in travel, transport, and communications.

Overwhelming favourites to lift the first ever and only Cosafa Beach Soccer Championship to be played to date, Madagascar beat Malawi 9-4 in the final in 2015.

The United Arab Emirates club Al-Ahli, who were guests in the competition, finished third to claim the bronze medal with a comfortable 7-3 triumph over Mauritius. Seychelles defeated South Africa 1-0 to finish in fifth position.

The tournament served as a dress rehearsal for hosts Seychelles, who days later staged the 2015 Confederation of African Football (Caf) Beach Soccer Cup of Nations.

Madagascar were in form after their Cosafa exploits and claimed the African title too, beating fancied Senegal on penalties in the decider.

That qualified them for the World Cup in Portugal that same year, but they did not make it out of their group.


Compiled by Gerard Govinden



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