President Festus Mogae on Monday paid tribute to the Zebras and the Young Zebras for their performances in and outside the region.
In his last State of the Nation speech, Mogae congratulated the Zebras and the Young Zebras, under the tutelage of Colyn Rowe and David Bright respectively, for displaying determination and the zeal to win at all costs.
“Over the past decade we have been united in our excitement at seeing our senior and junior football teams stand up to such formidable competitors as South Africa, Egypt, Cameroon, Japan, and Serbia. This year, our national Under 23 team made history by qualifying for the group stages of the Olympic Games while returning from the Four Nations Tournament in China with gold medals,” said president Mogae to cheers from parliamentarians.
The Young Zebras made history in South Africa during the SASOL Eight Nations Tournament by walloping China 4-0 to finish the tournament as runners up to Cameroon.
Frustrated and embarrassed by the defeat, China invited the Young Zebras for a Four Nations Tournament on their home soil where the young Zebras hoisted high the flag of the country by winning the competition.
In the just passed AFCON qualifying games, the national team, the Zebras, was a force to reckon with as they stood the test of time against the big giants and the defending champions Egypt only to be ejected from the group’s race after a fierce battle.
Spurred by their performance, political leaders across the political spectrum portrayed a sense of togetherness and solidarity as they acknowledged the achievements of the soccer teams.
At a national BNF congress in Serowe, the party’s leader, Otsweletse Moupo, expressed great enthusiasm over the teams’ performances.
“The Botswana teams are doing us proud. The young Zebras came from China with medals. We congratulate their sterling performance.”
Despite such sterling performances, there are disturbing reports that the Young Zebras coach Bright and the BFA are embroiled in a battle over remunerations.