In a bid to stop the U20 national team from catching the dreaded Ebola virus, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) is pulling out all the stops as the young Zebras prepare to lock horns with Republic of the Congo’s young Red Devils away in Brazzaville in a fortnight.
Following the re-emergence of the deadly virus in DRC, Botswana Football Association mouth piece, Tumo Mpatane says they have been alerted of this outbreak by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) and they are waiting for further instructions on how to handle the game.
“At the moment nothing has changed in terms of venue or date of the game, the boys are still preparing for the game in Congo. We are only waiting to hear from CAF to give us the go ahead to play the game,” said Mpatane.
With the way the disease easily spreads, Mpatane noted that they are closely working hand in hand with the Ministry of Health to protect the boys and anyone travelling with the squad to Congo- Brazzaville.
“These are two different Congo’s but we still have to be prepared for anything that is why we are in touch with the ministry of Health. As for ministry, they are not allowing anyone to travel to DRC,” he noted.
As for preparations he strongly pointed out that the boys are ready to face Congo and they are in good spirits. The latest outbreak of the Ebola virus in the DRC is the ninth discovery in the country since 1976. The last outbreak in 2014 spread beyond borders to five countries in West Africa being Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Mali and was reported to be the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery.
Five weeks since the outbreak of the latest virus, there have been 21 reported cases of suspected viral haemorrhagic fever in and around the Ilkoko Iponge, DRC, with 17 deaths also recorded so far.