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Rusty Zebras report to camp

MQONDISI DUBE
Back in action: Amrouche will lead the Zebras PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) will announce a 30-member squad to start preparing for back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations clashes against Zambia in November.

Local players have been inactive since March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

Zebras coach, Adel Amrouche has a tough task of getting the players up to speed, ahead of the tough qualifiers.

South Africa-based players have a bit of match fitness as the league programme concluded late.

But local players would look to dust off the cobwebs and knuckle down in a bid to impress the coach.

Regular faces are expected, as there has not been much action to catch Amrouche’s attention.

The BFA has not confirmed a practice or international friendly match for the side.

Their opponents were scheduled to play Malawi, Kenya and, or South Africa.

BFA marketing and public relations officer, Tumo Mpatane said it is expected the squad is to be named today (Friday) before reporting for duty on Sunday.

“We have written to the teams to afford us the chance to get the players. We hope to have finalised some issues tomorrow (Friday) to enable us to announce the team.

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Remember, these players are owned by the teams, so we have to talk to them before they go for national duty,” Mpatane said yesterday.

“Regarding friendly matches, I cannot confirm at the moment. Once the programme’s finer details are closed, then we will be forthcoming with the details.”

Amrouche has travelled to his homeland, Belgium and is expected back this week.

The dust has settled after the coach was linked with the Kaizer Chiefs job, but is now expected to stay.

The Zebras have a tough task in their bid to qualify for the 2022 tournament. They had a sluggish start, surviving a Warriors onslaught in Harare to settle for a 0-0 draw, before losing 1-0 to Algeria at home in November last year.

This left the side third in the group behind Algeria and Zimbabwe while neighbours, Zambia, anchor the four-team standings.

The AFCON finals were scheduled to be held next year, but have been moved to 2022 due to COVID-19.



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