After announcing that they would not make it to China for a friendly game, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has had a change of heart.
The senior national soccer team, the Zebras, will slug it out with the world’s most populous country on Independence Day in China.
About a month ago, the BFA announced that two reasons compelled them to abandon the game. The first being cost implications and the second one being the deadly swine flue virus.
The Chief Executive Officer of the BFA, Mooketsi Kgotlele, told Sunday Standard that they had to revisit the China trip because they got a sponsor from football for you and the deadly swine flu virus had subsided and is under control in China.
Kgotlele also added that one reason that forced them to eventually reconsider the trip to China was the snub by Kenya whom the Zebras were supposed to play on September 28.
“After Kenya decided against coming to Botswana, it was a terrible blow and that would have meant the country was going to be inactive for a long time. Fortunately there were some people who were willing to sponsor us to go to China and the swine flu is now under control. We then decided to go,” Kgotlele said.
He would not say when the team would be in camp, but emphasised that they would sit down with the technical team to finalise everything. Botswana is currently finding it difficult to play friendly matches on FIFA dates because most countries are busy with the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup qualifiers. As such they prefer to play other tough opponents.
It might also prove difficult after the China match for Botswana to secure another friendly and it might only be in November, during the Council for Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) tournament that will be held in Zimbabwe.
The tournament almost collapsed because of lack of sponsorship and Zimbabwe’s rescue came as a surprise to many people because of the economic hardships the country is facing.
Meanwhile, the acting Secretary General of the Premier League, Setete Phuthego and the Communications officer, Phakamile Kraai, are expected home today (Sunday) from Tunisia.
They attended a licensing system seminar organised by FIFA. The seminar helps the African countries to come up with modalities of keeping a track record of a player, from the developmental leagues to the upper ones.