In a bid to ensure that there are enough beds for 2010 World Cup fans, the World Cup organising committee is planning on moving some spectators to Botswana to doss down after games.
FIFA spokesperson, Delia Fischer, confirmed this week that fans will be taken to neighbouring countries by bus and aeroplane.
“In line with FIFA’s and the LOC’s commitment to sharing the benefits of the 2010 FIFA World Cup with other African countries, our service provider has contracted 4 500 rooms in nearby Mauritius , Botswana , Zambia , Swaziland and Namibia ,” Fischer said. “We are looking at 158 rooms in total in Botswana.”
World Cup Organising Committee chairman, Danny Jordan, said he did not think moving supporters, players and the media around the country would be a problem.
“I think we have enough accommodation, but not always in the right places. In some of the host cities, if we get a big match we will have to accommodate people outside the host city, move them in and move them back,” he said.
Approximately 40 000 England fans will travel to South Africa and if the English team trains in Phokeng, Rustenburg, as is expected, the demand for accommodation will be huge from the word go. If England plays well in the tournament, some 100 000 English fans are expected in the country.
The redistribution of fans could be good for Botswana as it is likely the visitors could explore the country with a view to returning later. It has been proved that a tourism boom usually follows a major sporting event and the 2010 World Cup should be no different.