Thursday, May 23, 2024

Government sets aside funds to conduct feasibility study for hosting AFCON

The Government has set aside funds to conduct feasibility study to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations. This was revealed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Peggy Serame when delivering the 2022 Budget Speech.

While she did not specify the amount, Serame on Monday confirmed Botswana’s plans to host the continental competition. The government commitment to support Botswana Football association to host the football continental showpiece has been welcomed by the football governing body.

Commenting on the development, football commentator, Jimmy George said it shows the government’s intention and seriousness to host. “It is a great move,” George said. He said the feasibility study also shows that government does not want to take anything for granted. “It is good corporate governance and ethical way of doing things,” he explained.

George further observed that the feasibility study will help in issues of budgeting and costing of what is needed. It will also outline the benefits the country will harness from hosting. To him the study will also reveal on cost sharing and the benefits countries will get if Botswana opts for co-hosting. He observed that the study will also reveal activities that need to be done towards 2027.

“This will help football to grow because BFA will be proactive towards staging the tournament. Things will be done much better because BFA will not stand the embarrassment of failing the nation,” he observed.

“If the issue is at the executive level, we can say we are home and dry, the intention is clear and it is up to us to be ready to host. Hope the study will not take long so that bidding can be on time,” George.

Minister of Sport Tumiso Rakgare has in the recent past been advocating for the country to host the tournament. The senior national team, Zebras qualified once for the tournament and since then the team has been performing badly. Hosting of the tournament boosts the economy and also improves infrastructure. It also promotes sports tourism.

To host the AFCON the host nation must have 2 forty thousand capacity stadiums, two twenty thousand capacity stadiums and two fifteen thousand capacity stadiums.

Still with the budget, Serame said the government is providing funding for the development of sporting talent, through a new programme with a budget of P24 million.

Completion of sports stadia in Moshupa and Mmadinare, community stadia in Tonota, Rakops, Tsabong and Kanye has been budgeted for.


Read this week's paper