It is apparent now that Botswana has lost out on any possible opportunity to meaningfully benefit from the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The only possibility is that tourists that will in future return to South Africa may include Botswana as a part of their package.
The tournament on its own is historic because it is held on the African soil for the first time since its inception in 1930.
By the look of things, it might take another eight decades or more for another edition to come to Africa.
It should be borne in mind that the World Cup is a major sporting event that delivers billions in revenue for the host countries.
Invariably, neighbouring countries always look up to spillovers.
Batswana were right to expect the crumbs from the high table.
The tournament is less than a month away and it looks it’s all systems go for South Africa.
Botswana should consider herself lucky because some of the matches will be held in places that are less than two-hours drive from Gaborone.
The least we can do is to rally behind South Africa by attending games.
When judgment is delivered with regard to organisation, the outcome will affect not just South Africa, but Africa as a whole.
As such, it only makes sense that as Batswana as much as is possible we should attend the games in record numbers.
This is not to downplay the fact that it has been difficult for many to get tickets.
The logistics have been horrible.
And prices have also proved prohibitive.
But even that should not be a deterrent because organizers have been wise enough to erect fan parks where people can watch from big screens. As such, supporters should just go and have the feeling of the World Cup. This will be a chance to rub shoulders with other supporters of the big teams from all over the world.
It could also be a learning experience for Batswana fans because they can in turn use the valuable lessons there for their own team, the Zebras. Currently Botswana is one of the countries that use the loud plastic trumpets called “Vuvuzela at matches.” Traditionally, it is something that originates from the South Africans to support their teams. Many countries that will be taking part in the World Cup have been mesmerised by the trumpet. On the other hand, those countries in Europe are renowned for singing loudly at the matches for the entire time of play while the South Americans and other Asian countries are famous for fireworks display. These are some of the things Batswana can learn to bring home.
There are a lot of other things that can be learned. It is clear that South Africa has done its best to stage what promises to be a world class tournament.
For that, Africa as a whole should be grateful.
South Africa has achieved this even as the western media never stopped doubting Africa’s ability to stage a tournament of such magnitude.
The important thing for South African authorities now is to ensure that the visitors feel safe for the entire duration of the tournament.
Like the rest of Africa, South Africa has a bad reputation for violent crime. That is one area that needs special attention.
International tourists will no doubt want to steal the lime light.
In here neighbouring countries have a role to play.
When all is said and done, credit should go to the incumbent FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Since becoming FIFA President, Blatter has been a true African friend.
He fought with all what he could to bring the tournament to Africa, at great risk to his career and even credibility.
He even had to bend the rules a bit because all along Africa did not stand a chance to host it because the system used was manipulated by money power.
Africa should not let him down. Consistently, Blatter’s argument has been that Africa has been producing many talented players for Europe and, as such, it should be rewarded and be recognized for its contribution to world football.