Mmegi Online :: Francistown back in the frame for Burkina Faso tie
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Last Updated
Wednesday 20 February 2019, 16:39 pm.
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Francistown back in the frame for Burkina Faso tie

Football thirsty fans in the north are expected to welcome the Zebras back, to what used to be a favourite hunting ground, the Francistown Sports Complex, for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burkina Faso.
By Mqondisi Dube Fri 14 Sep 2018, 13:01 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Francistown back in the frame for Burkina Faso tie








Opened in September 2015, the sports facility immediately provided memorable moments for the Zebras as the team built a fortress, felling giants; Mali and Burkina Faso in succession.

The biggest crowd for a Zebras game was recorded at the new stadium when 26,662 fans paid to watch the team in action against Mali.

The Zebras finished 2015 unbeaten at the Francistown Sports Complex, where they also claimed the scalp of Eritrea, a victory overshadowed by some of the visiting players’ refusal to return home.

However, the proud record began to crumble when Uganda inflicted the first defeat on the Zebras in June 2016. Attendance also began to dwindle as the Zebras euphoria died in the second city.

By the time Mauritania visited last year June, the crowd was down to a trickle compared to the more than 65,000 who went through the turnstiles to watch the team against Burkina Faso, Eritrea and Mali in the opening three games. But after a lengthy absence, stretching more than a year, the Zebras will head north on October 16 to confront Burkina Faso.

Their last encounter at the stadium ended 1-0 in favour of the Zebras, with Joel Mogorosi’s

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strike settling a close contest.

The National Stadium has taken repeated pounding, and the turf appeared in a sorry state during Township Rollers’ final CAF Champions League group tie against Esperance on August 28.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) marketing and public relations officer, Tumo Mpatane said they are in consultation with CAF. He said they have already submitted their alternative venues, and the host for the next tie will be announced on September 20, ahead of the Zebras’ three assignments, against Namibia, a friendly match on Independence Day, and back-to-back clashes against Burkina Faso.

According to sources, match commissioners for Rollers’ last two Champions League ties, condemned the turf, noting it needed to recover before any CAF match can take place. The Francistown Sports Complex has largely remained a white elephant since the Zebras last played there, with intermittent athletics’ activities.

TAFIC’s relegation from the top flight, compounded matters.

Zebras coach, David Bright said he is ready to take his charges to the north.

“The National Stadium will be fresh from hosting the Independence Day celebrations, and again, it is proper to spread the game to the north,” he said.

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