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Botswana Vs. Comoros Game Launched

The Botswana Men’s Senior National team, the Zebras, will leave for the Comoros Islands on Tuesday 22nd March 2016 for the first leg of the CAF African Nations Cup (AFCON) Gabon 2017 Qualifier match to be played on Thursday 24th March 2016. Soon after the match, the team will leave for the City of Francistown for the second leg to be played on Sunday 27th March 2016 at 16h00 at the Francistown Sports Complex.

The team is starting another 3 days camp in Francistown in preparation for the qualifiers. The camp will break on Thursday this week to allow players to go back to their clubs for the beMobile Premiership matches to be played over the weekend. The team will regroup again on Sunday for the final preparations before departing for Comoros on Tuesday.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank clubs who continue to make their players available for national duty even outside the FIFA prescribed periods. We note that this time of the season, clubs are almost on a home straight for the league championship, with others fighting for relegation and others for a decent placing in the league.

Without being pessimistic, we would have loved to go into these matches having engaged in competitive friendly matches, and staying longer in camp than we have. However, the reality on the ground dictated otherwise. We identified and engaged Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe all of whom were not available for a variety of reasons. Our last hope, Lesotho, also fell off as the beMobile Premiership had to resume this coming weekend after going on recess this past weekend to allow for the Mascom Top 8 Semi-Finals. The league will go on recess again during the forthcoming FIFA week that starts on Sunday.

Notwithstanding, the challenge of league commitments is not unique to Botswana. Zimbabwe, for instance, are only starting their camp on 20th March 2016 due to league commitments both at home and abroad where some of their players are engaged. This is something we have to live with. Our long lasting solution is to continue to work to raise the standards of our leagues so that they can continue to produce quality players who would need shorter periods in national team camps to prepare for international matches.

The objective of today’s media briefing is to launch the Botswana vs. Comoros match of Sunday 27th March 2016 at the Francistown Stadium. Tickets for the match are going on sale from today at the following outlets:

  • Shoprite in Molepolole, Game City, Gaborone Station, Francistown, Maun and Gantsi
  • Airport Junction Checkers in Gaborone
  • House and Home at the Airport Junction
  • U-Save Stores in Mochudi and Kang
  • OK Furnishers in Francistown, Gaborone Station, Broadhurst, Palapye, Serowe, Selebi Phikwe, Maun and Gantsi.

The number of ticket sale outlets has been increased. The Francistown selling points have been increased to seven. As Shoprite has been the only outlet, four pay stations will be created. A mobile ticket office with three pay stations will be positioned in the car park opposite Hungry Lion to assist with store sales. This should combat ticket traffic and keep queuing time to a minimum.

Notwithstanding this development, we continue to appeal to Batswana all over the country to buy tickets in time, and not to leave it until the last minute to avoid overcrowding at the ticket outlets and the inconvenience of missing out as tickets get sold out. Tickets sell for P80 (grand stand), P50 (Eastern Stand) and P30 (behind the goalposts).

We continue to appreciate the support of the Francistown authorities, the LOC and the community at large in creating a letting environment for the Zebras to perform to their abilities. We also thank all the members of the corporate sector who continue to stretch their helping hand to us in our pursuits to take our team to the next level.

Adansonia Hotel and Tati River Lodge have taken the lead in providing hospitality for the national team and BFA officials and functionaries. Their support continues to make it possible for us to adequately prepare the team and to ensure the successful hosting of all our matches in Francistown. Adansonia Hotel is providing free boarding and lodging for the team in its final preparations for the Comoros match. This gesture will continue for the return leg. Adansonia and Tati River Lodge have in the past sponsored accommodation for the BFA officials, staff and other functionaries during international matches in Francistown.

At the end of the Botswana vs. Mali Match, a local Businessman, Mr. Justice Mojanaga, Managing Director of Jumcorp (Pty) Ltd. donated P50 000.00 to the Zebras as his gesture of appreciation following the Zebras’ win. The BFA was very appreciative of this. The money has since been shared between members of the team.

In conclusion, the BFA wishes to thank the Government of Botswana through the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) for the continued support to its activities in the country; even during the toughest of times. The BFA also wishes to thank the BDF who have come to their rescue by way of providing the most comfortable and quickest passage of the team to the Comoros Islands and back.

Should we go beyond Comoros in both legs, as we believe we will, we will be left with Uganda home in June and Burkina Faso away in September to wrap up our campaign. With you behind our team, this is possible.

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BFA GRANTS AMROUCHE LEAVE OF ABSENCE

GABORONE, Botswana – Following the request by Senior National Team Coach, Adel Amrouche for leave of absence to attend to a personal matter, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) wishes to inform the public that he has been granted the leave with immediate effect.

Since the COSAFA tournament is the last competitive tournament for the Zebras in the immediate future, the BFA amicably resolved to release Amrouche. The affairs of the National team in preparation for the tournament, set to take place in Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa from 7-18 July 2021 shall be handed over to Letang Kgengwenyane.

“The BFA understands and supports Mr. Amrouche’s situation and wishes him all the best in his future endeavours,” said BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone G. Taylor.

Amrouche took over as the Zebras head coach in August 2019 on a two-year deal. After weeks of engaging with the coach over his future, an agreement was reached not to extend his contract.

Adel Amrouche

“Amrouche has been Zebras head coach since August 2019, and his leadership during that time was important to our successful development and international exposure of our players,” added Taylor.

“We appreciate all that Amrouche has done to build a disciplined team. He has always had a thorough understanding of what it takes to be a successful team and has done his best to mentor his players accordingly,” concluded Taylor.

Amrouche has since expressed gratitude towards the BFA for the opportunity.
“I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to lead the Zebras over the last two years. I leave having picked up quite a number of valuable lessons that will be necessary in the journey ahead. I wish the Zebras success in future competitions,” Amrouche said in statement recently.

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