If Botswana decides to bid for the 2027 Afcon finals as they have so made it known, they will do so knowing they have the blessings of CAF president Dr Patrice Motsepe.
While the final decision as to who should host lies not with him as the CAF president, but with a committee elsewhere, he has openly made it known what he wishes could happen.
“It would give me pride as a Motswana for this nation to partner with one or two other countries to host the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals,” the CAF President said.
Speaking post his meeting with the Minister of Sports Tumiso Rakgare, Motsepe said part of his legacy when his tenure at CAF ends would be to have seen one of the small countries host the biggest football tournament in Africa.
He said it must not be the same countries over and over again who continuously host and benefit from hosting the Afcon finals. According to Motsepe, as much as hosting requires an infrastructural investment, the benefits of such go beyond just football.
The CAF president said if Botswana were to successfully bid to host Afcon, it will give it a platform to ‘showcase to the whole world what the country is all about.’ He went on to add that ‘one cannot separate the development of football from development and growth of a country and its economy.’
With the Afcon beamed to over 150 countries worldwide, Motsepe said hosting will give Botswana an opportunity to market herself and her tourism to millions of people.
Having campaigned for CAF presidency on the ticket of improving football across the continent, the CAF president is in no doubt that hosting Afcon will contribute towards the development of football in Botswana.
Still on the issue of football development, the CAF president said his wish is to one day see Botswana reach the Afcon semi-finals as he believes the country has enough talent.
“Football gives us pride and dignity. When Botswana football wins, all of us are happy, even those of us Batswana in South Africa,” he quipped.
Meanwhile, Rakgare for his part thanked the CAF president and for his commitment towards the development of football in Botswana and the continent in general. He also praised BFA president MacLean Letshwiti for the great work he is doing for local football.
While in Botswana, the CAF president met with the President of Botswana Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi. The two are said to have had conversations on a lot of topics, among which was Botswana’s intention to bid to host Afcon 2027.
During their meeting, President Masisi is said to have lobbied Motsepe to consider Botswana and Namibia’s bid to co-host the Afcon finals.