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BY ANITA RANNOBA
The Zebras may be a bunch of losers but the nation should rally behind the national team - the interim head coach Mogomotsi Teenage Mpote pleads.
Mpote made his misgivings known as the 27-man provisional squad for the 2019 COSAFA Cup in Durban, South Africa was announced.
Speaking in an interview with this publication, Mpote lambasted the lack of patriotism displayed by the nation in their failure to support the national team.
“It is disturbing and worrisome how Batswana care less about their own team. You would find them supporting South Africa and the ABSA premier league teams at the expense of their very own national team. How can the team grow on its own without the nation pushing them on, Batswana should know that this team is theirs as it represents them,” a worried Mpote wondered.
Highlighting that the nation should be aware that their support carries more weight than they actually think, Mpote pin pointed that the Zebras are a Botswana brand.
He however made mention that counting only on God for help, families of players and very few people for support is not enough.
Speaking on behalf of the COSAFA Cup, he said it is one of the important Championships which give our boys the edge to push hard and end up in other big tournaments like the AFCON.
The interim head coach said the Botswana Football Association (BFA) did not give him a target on how far the team should go. even he himself did not limit the team stating that he believes they can go as far as they want as long as they too believe in themselves.
With the preparation of the team, he stated that the boys will not be playing any international friendly games as he believes that the games between Angola and Seychelles were enough for the boys to see their capabilities. Adding that even though they have lost to Angola on the AFCON qualifier games the boys have improved on the game two games they played with Seychelles; highlighting that he has believe on his team that they will perform to their absolute best on this coming tournament.
“The team has been doing well with every game they have been playing and with each game they are growing and they show signs of improvement,” he said.
“However, with the ongoing Orange FA games the preparations for COSAFA are being disturbed as players are with their teams at the moment” he said. Nevertheless, Mpote has high hopes for his team.
The team is expected to report for camp on the 26th May and a Final 20- man squad will be named in due course to travel to the Championships.