Eyes are on government as the Botswana Football Association (BFA) requires P22 million to ensure the Zebras participate in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The women’s national team, Mares have qualified for the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) and have a budget of P7.2 million to fund preparations. This means the government has to give the BFA nearly P30 million for both the Zebras and Mares activities in the coming months. The AFCON qualifiers kick-off at the end of this month, while the Mares’ AWCON finals take place in Morocco in July. “The budget for 2023 AFCON qualifiers will obviously be steeper than AWCON primarily because the women’s tournament is staged at one place besides the other preparations involved,” BFA chief executive officer, Mfolo Mfolo said. “AFCON qualifiers involve a lot of travelling, back-to-back for that matter,” he added. The Zebras were drawn against countries from far-flung parts of the continent, with Libya, Equatorial Guinea, and Tunisia in Botswana’s group. “It is the government’s responsibility to take care of national teams. All over the world, it is the principle.
The Football Association must spend the funding on football development,” he said. The BFA has said the private sector and the government are expected to fund the Mares budget. Yesterday, the BFA announced the Debswana Jwaneng Mine had agreed to host one of the local camps for the Mares. “Debswana Jwaneng Mine will take care of the camping needs of the senior women national team at that time and henceforth contributing to some of the P7,200,000 required to prepare the team for the 2022 Morocco Women AFCON,” the BFA said in a statement. “This patriotic gesture comes at a critical time when the team needs intensive training and resources for preparatory purposes for this continental showpiece,” the statement reads. Meanwhile, there has been no change to Zebras interim coach, Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote’s status. There were reports the coach could be handed the job on a full-time basis on a three-year deal. Sources said the BFA is hamstrung by funds otherwise they would have widened their search.
The BFA technical committee, headed by the first vice president, Masego Nchingane reportedly recommended that Mpote be given the job, with the financial status of the BFA considered. Mfolo was not willing to comment much on the matter when contacted for comment. “Mpote is still our interim coach for now and we will not comment further on that,” he said yesterday.