Will CAF gift Botswana early Independence present?

Obed Itani Chilume Sports Complex PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Obed Itani Chilume Sports Complex PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

After months of intense lobbying, it all comes to one critical moment at the Marriot Hotel in Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt. By lunchtime today, Botswana will know if its bid to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations finals has succeeded or crumbled.

CAF president, Patrice Motsepe will announce at the Marriot Hotel shortly after the executive committee casts their votes through a secret ballot. Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti will be on the other side of the aisle as he votes with the CAF executive committee to decide Botswana's fate.

A six-member Botswana delegation flew into Cairo on Monday and will make a 10-minute presentation before the CAF executive this morning. The meeting starts at 9am and all bidding countries will be allowed a brief presentation on their bids. Thereafter, the CAF executive will retreat into a closed-door session to deliberate on the bids before the secret ballot. At 12:30 pm, Motsepe will emerge from the closed-door meeting to announce the winning bids for the 2025 and 2027 tournaments.

In the build-up to the announcement, CAF found itself under pressure after Algeria withdrew from the race yesterday. Algeria raised concerns about the manner in which the bids have been handled, claiming CAF had already decided the winners with Morocco set to be awarded the 2025 rights while Senegal gets the nod for 2027. There are further claims that Nigeria and Benin will be the hosts for the 2029 tournaments. Now all eyes will be on CAF to confirm or deny if indeed the process was predetermined. Media in East Africa revealed on Monday that its joint bid involving Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda had failed, also going with reports that Morocco and Senegal will get the respective bids.

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