The Botswana Football Association (BFA) seems to be leaving true to their word regarding the preparations of the senior national team, Zebras, for next year‘s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
After the team made history by qualifying for their maiden appearance at the biennial tournament that will be held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea next year, pledges were made to the team by the government and other stake holders to help prepare it thoroughly.
So far, the BFA has managed to secure a friendly match with one of North Africa’s power houses, Algeria, towards the end of the year.
Algeria was at last year’s World Cup in South Africa where they gave tough countries, like England and USA, a tough time.
The friendly match was confirmed by BFA President, David Fani.
He, however, would not specify the exact date but said it will be in November.
“I can confirm that we will be playing a friendly match against Algeria in November. The match will be played either in Algeria or Europe. This is per request of the coach who has asked for difficult opponents ahead of next year’s AFCON,” he said.
Fani also told Sunday Standard that they are still talking to several potential tough countries. He would not want to reveal names but added that discussions are at an advanced stage. Botswana is the first country to book their ticket to next year’s AFCON and have ample time to prepare the team.
On the other hand, coach of the team, Stanley Tshosane, told said that he has long given the BFA his road map until next year before the tournament. He said he was positive the BFA were working on something he has asked for.
“Immediately after qualifying for the 2012 AFCON, I gave the BFA the road map for the team so that we could have ample time of preparing. I proposed friendly matches with tough opponents and even training and camping at modern facilities. I am adamant that the BFA are doing everything in their power to meet the roadmap demands,” he said.
Tshosane also stressed that since several companies have donated something to the team, they already have a foundation to build on. Botswana surprised the football fraternity by qualifying for next year’s tournament.
It was a big achievement because Botswana does not have any players based overseas but only seven in the South African league, with only six in the elite league.
Some of the countries that felt Botswana’s wrath are the likes of Tunisia and Togo, which, just a few years ago, were at the World Cup.
Togo will not make it next year and Tunisia might also not qualify mainly because of Botswana.