Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Will local teams participate in CAF’s continental tournaments?

It looks like there will not be any team from Botswana taking part in the African Club competitions next year.

Two teams, Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs, were supposed to be the country’s representatives in both The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League and The CAF Confederations Cup.

As things stand only a month is left before the competitions get underway, but it is not yet clear whether the local teams will take part.

Rollers are the ones who were supposed to call the shots by choosing the one they want to take part in and Chiefs would then participate in the other.

This is because Rollers are the defending champions of both the league and Coca-Cola Cup while Centre Chiefs are runners’ ups of both competitions. Efforts to contact Mochudi Centre Chiefs before press time were futile while Rollers were cagey with details.

Rollers’ Managing Director, Somerset Gobuiwang, told Sunday Standard that they still have not made the decision on the matter.

“Right now we are still deliberating on the matter and we will make a decision soon. Our focus currently is still on the league campaign,” he said. When quizzed on the fact that time is running out since January is around the corner, Gobuiwang was still unmoved, insisting that they are still discussing the issue.

It would, however, be a big blow if both teams do not take part in the competitions.

Last year, both Gaborone United (GU) and Uniao Flamengo Santos took part in the competitions and the former made the country proud by bowing out in the last lap before the group stages. Among the teams they eliminated were South African heavy weights, Orlando Pirates.

The last time Rollers took part in the competitions was in 2006 and they also did well as they were also eliminated in the last lap before the group stages. Rollers also had to defeat one of Southern Africa’s heavyweights, Zesco United of Zambia.

However, before GU and Santos took part last year, other teams, including Chiefs, did not take part, citing financial difficulties. Some of such teams are Ecco City Green and BMC.

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