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Orapa confirm CAF participation

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
FRANCISTOWN: Orapa United have ended speculation surrounding their participation in the CAF Confederations Cup after confirming they will take part. The Orapa side qualified for the Confederations Cup after winning the Mascom Top 8 cup early this year. But the Ostriches have remained mum on a decision to participate in the continental competition.

The club spokesperson, Tebatso Hule told Mmegi Sport they will take part in the competition.

“(The) management of Orapa United has made a decision to participate (in CAF) and we have notified BFA (Botswana Football Association) of our intentions,” he said. “We have delayed our decision mainly because we needed to appreciate implications that come with participating in the tournament; both financially and socially.

“CAF is an expensive exercise and therefore we needed to sort our finances and we can now confirm that our decision to participate follows an agreement with Debswana (Mine) who have pledged to assist us financially although we are constrained to divulge the amount.”

Tebatso said winning local competitions and participating in Africa was one of the visions of the club when it was formed. He noted that taking part will motivate their players and also give them exposure.

“It was always a dream when we formed this club that one day we will want to see it winning and being able to take part in continental competitions. We are happy we are living the dream.

“It is

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befitting for our players having worked so hard last season to win and qualify. The team is confident and ready and we are not only going into the competition to make numbers but to compete and go as far as possible,” Hule said.

He said they will have all their games played in the north where they have the option of playing at Itekeng Stadium or the Francistown Sports Complex and the choice of venue will be informed by their opponents and determined by the number of supporters expected.

League defending champions, Township Rollers have long confirmed their participation in the CAF Champions League. CAF competitions have proved too expensive for local sides, with Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gaborone United both having failed to take part last season due to financial constraints.

Meanwhile, Hule said their weekend league encounter against Mahalapye Hotspurs will be played at Itekeng Stadium as scheduled despite some parts of the arena being damaged by the storm over the past weekend. The affected area, he said, will be barricaded as it is being restored.



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