VAR at Cosafa Women’s tournament
THE Mighty Warriors could get to experience the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system for the first time if they reach the semi-finals of the 11-day Cosafa Women’s Championships which is set to kick-off in Gauteng, South Africa tomorrow.
Zimbabwe make their way back into the regional tournament after a two-year absence due to FIFA suspension.
The squad leaves in two batches today and they could be part of the excitement as Cosafa introduces the VAR system from the semi-final stages of this tournament.
The regional football mother-body confirmed the development in a statement yesterday.
“Cosafa will be introducing the Video Assistant Referee system for the Hollywoodbets Cosafa Women’s Championship that will be played in Gauteng from October 4-15.
“It is the first time the system has been used in a Cosafa tournament-albeit from the semi-finals onwards-with the plan to introduce it in all tournaments in the future,” said Cosafa in a statement.
“Cosafa Referees manager Felix Tangawarima is running a five-day all-female course for VAR training for referees”.
And Warriors skipper Rudo Neshamba is excited with the responsibility bestowed on her to lead the national women’s team in their first Cosafa tournament in two years.
Zimbabwe are in Group C along with Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana.
And Neshamba, one of the few veterans called for this assignment, believes the Shadreck Mlauzi side has what it takes to be competitive.
She was named the team captain at the weekend and she will be deputised by goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai and Nobukhosi Ncube.
“It’s such an honour to be chosen to lead this talented group. We have a lot of youngsters some of which are playing for the national team for the first time,” said Neshamba.
“We have embraced them. They are the future and we have to make sure that they are comfortable.
“The girls are raring to go and we will need to be competitive. I think we are ready for the tournament”.
The Harare City forward said they are going into the tournament to compete despite the lengthy absence.
“We are not under any pressure. We are going to take each game as it comes going into this tournament.
“We have not been playing international football for some time so we are taking it one step at a time.
“We are very happy that we are back on the international stage. It’s a stage where the youngsters can showcase themselves.
“So far we haven’t had any problems, everything is perfect”.
The Mighty Warriors open their campaign with a date against Lesotho on Friday at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria before facing off Namibia at the same venue two days later.
They will conclude their group stage business against Botswana at Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg on October 11.
With three pools of four teams each gunning for Cosafa honours, the top placed teams in each group along with the best performing runners-up in all the groups will progress to the semi-finals of the tournament which has been dominated by South Africa.
Group A features the hosts South Africa, Malawi, Eswatini and Madagascar while Zambia, Mozambique, Angola and Comoros are in Group B.
Coach Shadreck Mlauzi trimmed his team from the initial 24-member squad to 21 dropping the trio of Morelife Nyagumbo, Rudo Machadu and Mitchell Nyakatsapa.
Cynthia Shonga, Chido Dzingirai, Lindiwe Magwede, Eunice Chibanda, Vimbai Mharadzi, Nobukhosi Palma Ncube, Edline Mutumbami, Thelma Masawi, Purity Mugayi, Patience Nyarai Ndlovu, Rudo Neshamba, Alice Moyo, Shyline Dambamuromo, Daisy Rumbidzai Kaitano, Ennety Sandile Chemhere, Tanyaradzwa Chihoro, Nokukhanya Mercy Ndlovu, Praynance Ebilister Zvawanda, Privilege Mupeti, Maudy Paidamoyo Mafuruse, Christabel Katona
Technical Team: Shadreck Mlauzi, Sithethelelwe Sibanda, Yohane Chikaola, Ndega Matsika, Brenda Chaora, Portia Chiota, Dorothy Mugari, Margaret Maulana, Kudzanai Matavire, Chioniso Mashakada, Choice Dambuza
Head of delegation: Cynthia Dinka Malaba