Francistown stadium has passed the test – Khama

President Khama with diginitaries during the officially opening of Francistown Sport Complex. PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
President Khama with diginitaries during the officially opening of Francistown Sport Complex. PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG

FRANCISTOWN: President Ian Khama says recent events held at the Francistown Sport Complex have proven that the stadium has passed the test.

“It is pleasing to note that the Francistown Sport Complex has already hosted the Zebras’ international matches against Burkina Faso, Eritrea and Mali.

These events have provided a test for the functionality of the stadium and it has passed,” the President said when officially opening the stadium yesterday.

He said the successful completion of the Francistown sports facility is a sign of the commitment by government to utilise sport as a catalyst for economic development and diversification.

“Sport is now a global multi-billion Pula industry capable of generating wealth and employment at various levels.  Sport tourism is an emerging sector, which has the potential to contribute significantly to the economy.

This facility should be therefore used to promote sport tourism by hosting regional, continental and international competitions.

This facility provides business opportunities for small and medium business enterprises in this city,” he said.

He further said good quality facilities are important for sport development.

“Access to world class facilities for training and competition has consequently enhanced performances of our national teams and athletes.

The performances of our national teams and athletes in the last years has indeed made us proud,” Khama said.

He also added it should be noted that all sporting facilities around the country are named after the areas they are located at, for uniformity.

“It is critical to note that the naming of these facilities has been consistent, all other facilities are named after the areas where they are located.

For uniformity and consistency with cabinet decision in this regard, this facility has accordingly become Francistown Sports Complex,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Youth Sport and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng said the facility has become a beacon of sport excellence.

“For the first time in the history of football we had a full capacity of 26,600 people in the stadium with more than 3,000 outside hoping to get in when we played against Mali and for the first time we became victorious and this facility is the host to Botswana Games and it is the first time in the History of Botswana that they are hosted outside Gaborone,” Olopeng said.

Olopeng praised the people of Francistown for their support. “I thank the leadership and people of Francistown for partnering with my ministry and acceding to all our requests.

The people of Francistown have humbly requested me to issue a decree that the Francistown Sports Complex is a home of the Zebras and so it is done as you wish, because you have shown commitment and support for sports as a collective,” he said.

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