Monday, June 24, 2024

Afcon bid suspence grips Botswana

“An elephant cannot labour to give birth to a mouse,” Magistrate Lot Moroka once remarked when delivering a judgment in the Louis Nchindo versus the State case.

In line with these remarks, the Botswana Bid Committee (Bidco) believes it has done all the hard work necessary to win the rights to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). The Bidco is optimistic it will fend off the fierce competition from other 2027 bidding nations.

Bidco chairperson Ashford Mamelodi is adamant that Botswana has put a solid bid and will win. The bid, if won, will be an early independence for Botswana. The country celebrates its 57th year of independence on Saturday.

Other countries bidding against Botswana for the Afcon 2027 finals are Algeria, Egypt and a joint bid from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The countries will know their fate on Wednesday 27th when the CAF executive committee makes final determination on the matter.

CAF is also expected to reveal the host for the 2025 tournament.

“Each bidding country will be given ten minutes to present at the CAF executive committee meeting. We are going to use the chance to lobby and answer final questions from them,” Mamelodi explains.

He went on to add that Botswana is confident it will win because the country has done all that is needed.

“We have done all that we could and we couldn’t do more. We are confident that we will make it. Unfortunately, there is no draw. It’s a winner takes all,” the confident Bidco chairperson says.

Mamelodi further says the bid committee was able to do its work diligently with the aid of support from government and private sector. 

Botswana’s six men delegation to Egypt for final campaigns and lobbying include, Minister of Sport Tumiso Rakgare, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) chairperson, Marumo Morule, BNSC CEO Tuelo Serufho, Bidco chairperson, Mamelodi as the Bidco chairperson, Botswana Football Association (BFA’s) trio of Masego Nchingane, Maokaneng Bontshetse and CEO Mfolo Mfolo.

Mamelodi also expects Reuben Reddy of Reuben Reddy Architects to join them in their expedition to Cairo.  Reddy Architects did the facility audit and developed the bid book.

Initially, Botswana was to bid as co-host with the western neighbour, Namibia. The latter however pulled out two days before the bid deadline sighting financial constraints. The sudden pull out did not deter a resolute Botswana as she then put in her own solo bid to host.

Botswana is planning to build three stadia once it is successful to complement the existing ones. The three stadia are expected to be built in Kasane, Maun and Gabane.

Botswana has already spent P65 million on preparing the bid book document.


Read this week's paper