After too much pressure from the coach and supporters, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) are seriously stepping up their efforts to secure tough friendly matches for the senior national team, the Zebras, ahead of the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations early next year in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The BFA has so far managed to secure a friendly match with the once power houses of Africa, Nigeria, on November 12 in Abuja.
This is a huge relief for coach Stanley Tshosane who even went to the extent of complaining that the BFA is not doing enough to prepare the team.
Nigeria failed to qualify for the biennial tournament for the first time since 1996 and ended up sacking their coach, Samson Siasia.
But they are seen as valuable because they have professional players scattered all over the world.
It will also be the first time Botswana plays Nigeria.
Information reaching Sunday Standard is that the BFA are also fighting tooth and nail to organize another friendly three days later with one of the powerful West African countries, Senegal, in France. Although the BFA are still cagey with the details regarding the match, information reaching Sunday Standard is that negotiations between the two parties are at an advanced stage.
Should all go well, it will also be the first time for Botswana to play against the 2002 World Cup quarter finalists. Senegal failed to make it to the last AFCON but they are seen as firm favourites at the coming AFCON edition because they were spitting fire during the qualifications.
Senegal was impressive in their campaign and even denied powerful and higher achievers, Cameroon, to qualify.
The friendly will be a major boast for coach Tshosane, in case Botswana is pitted against some other West African nations in the same group.
The draw was conducted yesterday evening (Saturday).
Botswana made history by qualifying for the biennial tournament for the first time and, en-route, defeated African heavy weights like Togo and Tunisia.
Since qualifying, Botswana struggled to have friendly matches with African heavy weights because of their congested schedule. After an impressive qualification, many Batswana are adamant that Botswana can still make history at the tournament because several heavy weights did not make it. They include the likes of Egypt, Cameroon, South Africa, Nigeria.