Sunday, February 5, 2023

BFA won’t lobby government to host continental cup 

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) will not lobby government to bid to host the 2025 Continental Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). 

This is after Guinea was stripped of the rights to stage the tournament as they were deemed inadequately prepared.

The decision to strip the West African country of the hosting rights was undertaken by the continental football governing body, Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), who are the Afcon right holders. They have since set 11 November, 2022, as the deadline for countries interested in stepping in to host to submit declaration of interest.

It is said that Guinea was stripped of the right to stage the AFCON finals as their facilities were not ready. It is alleged there was no hope left that the facilities will be ready before the tournament starts.

Botswana has already declared interest to co-host the African football showpiece with western neighbour Namibia. The bid committee has been set and already at work to formulate a bid that will bring the tournament home in 2027.

Asked if it is not an opportunity for Botswana to use the chance and bid for the 2025 continental cup, the BFA spokesperson, Carol Kgafela said the football body is not going to bid for the 2025 competition. ”We are not going to bid for 2025. The plan remains as is to collectively bid for 2027 with Namibia,” Kgafela said.

Kgafela observed that “the bid largely depends on our own preparedness so we do not want to short circuit the process and preparations which will in turn greatly compromise our chance at a successful bid.”

Guinea is not the first African country to be stripped of rights to host the tournament; Cameroon was also striped to host the 2019 tournament.

CAF will by 16th November, 2022, sent the hosting documents to member associations that have declared their interest. By December 16th member associations are expected to submit their final bid, including all bidding and hosting documents, hosting agreements, host cities agreement and government guarantees. In January the inspection visits will be done and on the 10th February CAF executive is expected to appoint the host/countries.

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