Botswana will host the Standard Chartered (SC) The Road to Anfield five-a-side football tournament Southern Africa regional finals. The finals, which will see teams from Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe compete for an all paid trip to Liverpool Football Club’s famed Anfield, will be played on the 17th of March this year.
The news was revealed to the media this past Monday by the Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand and Marketing at Standard Chartered Bank Botswana Itumeleng Ramsden.
After Botswana’s dream to make a second appearance was rudely crushed by Zambia when the latter hosted the regional finals this past year, Botswana will be hoping stars are aligned in their favour this time around.
“After the heavy loss our local team suffered in Zambia, we are hopeful we will do better when we host the finals in March,” Ramsden said.
Ramsden further pointed out that should a local team win the regional finals, they will be hoping it will emulate the team of 2012 which went all the way and finished as runners up during the grand finale in Anfield. At the time, Botswana was represented by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) five-a-side team.
Meanwhile, Ramsden has called for local teams interested in competing for the ‘once in a lifetime’ all expenses paid trip to Anfield to come forth and register to take part in the Botswana local tournament, which will be held on the 4th of March. Registration is expected to open from the 17th to the 27th of this month (February).
“Registration is open for all residents of Botswana who are not playing professional football. This is an amateur tournament and thus no professionals are allowed,” she explained.
According to Ramsden, the organisers of the Botswana local tournament are expecting 32 teams to compete for a slot to represent Botswana at both the regional and eventually grand finale if they win the regionals.
The Botswana event is expected to be hosted at the Gaborone Club grounds.
Still on the SC Road to Anfield tournament, Ramsden says they are expecting a yet to be named special guest to visit Botswana.
“As is now expected, when the guest arrives here, he will be expected to conduct some coaching clinics for the youth in Botswana. The last special guest we had here was former Liverpool great John Barnes and during his stay here, he conducted a coaching clinic for the youth in the South East,” said Ramsden.