The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has not yet given up securing a friendly match for the national team, the Zebras, to play against some of the teams that have qualified for the World Cup in neighbouring South Africa. Unlike other neighbouring countries, Botswana is yet to rub shoulders with some of the best players in the World.
Other countries, like Zambia, have already done their part and gained invaluable experience. Zambia just played against Chile and just before the start of the World Cup, Zimbabwe will play the famous Brazil.
The Vice President (Technical) of the BFA, Dintle Mphele, told Sunday Standard that they have talked to several teams and anything is possible. “The Zebras have to quickly prepare for the upcoming 2012 African Cup of Nations and, as the BFA, we have to also quickly prepare. Unfortunately we were caught unaware by CAF following the addition of Togo to our group. We are trying by all means to play one of the teams even if it means us going to South Africa. We are also prepared to play even if the match is not FIFA accredited,” he said.
Mphele, however, lamented the fact that Botswana could not lure Brazil because of financial constraints. He said Brazil demanded around P 7 Million but BFA could not meet it. He said Brazil promised to report back to them and to date nothing has materialised.
Mphele said the match was scheduled to be held today (Wednesday), adding that they are also trying to organize some friendly matches with some of the countries that did not qualify for the World Cup. He said the country they are likely to face is Zambia.
“Hopefully before the start of the qualifying matches, we will play Zambia. They have been communicating with us and currently we are waiting for their final response. The last time we talked to them, they were in Chile for a friendly match,” Mphele said.
If Botswana cannot get a competitive friendly match, they are in for very tough challenge and might find themselves losing by heavy margins. Botswana has been pitted against tough African teams, namely Tunisia, Togo, Malawi and Chad.
Tunisia is one team that is busy with those countries that have made it to the World Cup. They recently played against former World Champions, France and played to a one all draw. The results show the seriousness of the Arabian country.
Botswana on the other hand will only get into camp next Monday.
Currently, the medical team is the one that is busy with the players.