African football juggernauts, Ghana, will be included in the 2014 COSAFA Cup after their participation was confirmed today.
The competition will be staged from 13-27 September.
Ghana's inclusion came after the Comoros Islands pulled out of the competition, which gives the Black Stars hopes of being the first non-Southern African country to win the tournament.
The chairman of COSAFA’ s Organising Committee, Timothy Shongwe, spoke out on Ghana's addition to the contest by saying : “We are delighted to have Ghana competing in Botswana and it is another sign of the high regard the rest of Africa places in the COSAFA Cup competition.”
“Ghana are a powerhouse of the continent and have been the most successful African side at the last two World Cup tournaments, narrowly missing out on a place in the semi-finals in South African in 2010,” he said according to a press release by COSAFA.
He also said that it will be tough for the Southern African countries as Ghana is packed with quality, and have players who are courted by top European clubs.
“Players from Ghana are coveted by top European clubs and there is a good chance that we will see future superstars of the national team in Botswana later this year. It will be a huge test for our Southern African sides to take on the Black Stars, but that is just the type of competition we are looking for to help develop the game in the region,” he added.
The 2014 edition of the competition will be played in the same format as last year’s challenge, with the two first round groups contested, with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals.
Ghana will most likely get a passport into the quarterfinals along with the five other best positioned teams according to the FIFA World Rankings, who will be joined by the two pool winners to complete the last eight.
There will also be a plate section for the teams on the losing side of matters, to give all the teams ample opportunities to play.