FIFA’s support drives the growth of women’s football in Southern Africa.
The 11th edition of the COSAFA Women’s Championship took place in Gauteng, South Africa from October 4 to October 15, 2023.
FIFA continues its annual commitment of providing USD 1.25 million to COSAFA for organizing tournaments under the FIFA Forward program.
During the competition, a dedicated research project focused on female health was conducted for the fourth consecutive year.
In an historic moment, Malawi secured their first COSAFA (Council of Southern Africa Football Associations) championship title by defeating defending champions Zambia, who were also making their FIFA Women’s World Cup debut, with a score of 2-1 in the final.
This 11th edition of the tournament serves as a vital platform for women’s national teams and players in Southern Africa to gain essential playing opportunities. Notably, the tournament featured two teams that had advanced to the Round of 16 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand: Zambia and South Africa.
Since 2017, FIFA has been contributing USD 1 million annually to COSAFA through the FIFA Forward program, supporting the organization of tournaments for senior women and youth (boys/girls). This funding was increased to USD 1.25 million for the cycle starting in 2023.
Sue Destombes, the Secretary General of COSAFA, expressed satisfaction with the consistent improvement in the level of play over the years, particularly highlighting the progress of teams like Malawi, Mozambique, Eswatini, and Lesotho. She credited this development to FIFA’s Forward grant to the Zonal Unions, enabling the consistent organization of annual tournaments.
In addition to the COSAFA Women’s Championship, FIFA Forward’s zonal funding also supported the hosting of the COSAFA qualifying tournament for the CAF Women’s Champions League in Durban, South Africa, held from August 30 to September 8, 2023.