South Africa and Durban step in to rescue Cosafa Cup

Zimbabwe win 2018 Cosafa Cup
Zimbabwe celebrate after their dramatic victory over Zambia in the 2018 Cosafa Cup final

This year's Cosafa Cup is back on again after the coastal city of Durban stepped in as emergency replacement for Zimbabwe.

The 14-nations southern African regional event was in danger of not being played after Zimbabwe could not secure government financial support.

The South African Football Association has now stepped in to ensure the tournament will kick-off on 25 May.

It means South Africa will host the event for a fourth time in five years.

This year's tournament has added importance because five of the teams set to take part can use it to prepare for June's African Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

Angola, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe have all qualified for the continental showpiece.

Organisers have told the BBC there is a possibility that a guest nation from outside the Council of Southern African Football Associations could also be invited to take part but that is still to be finalised.

A draw is set for 3 May in Durban to determine the first round groups.

The lowest ranked eight nations from the 14 will play in two groups of four, in a round robin format in the opening week.

The top six join at the quarter-final stage for the second week of competition.

The semi-finals and final of the tournament will be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which was built for the 2010 World Cup.

The King Zwelithini Stadium and the Princess Magogo Stadium will be used earlier in the competition, a Cosafa statement on Thursday said.

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