Botswana Football Association (BFA) through its President MacLean Letshwiti is expected to throw its weight behind Morocco for their bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, as efforts to stage a second football glittering tournament in Africa gathers momentum.
WeekendSport is informed that a Confederation of African Football (CAF) congress that was held in Morocco this past week saw African member states setting fire to the desire of hosting the show piece on African soil, eight years from now. Never before have these African countries been in such unison, especially after the fall of Issa Hayatou in March last year. It is widely believed that COSAFA region, where Botswana lies, played a pivotal part in unseating the former Cameroonian born CAF president.
The same spirit is anticipated to be seen as an emotive campaign to stage the football spectacle on African soils of Morocco takes shape after it was hosted by South Africa in 2010. BFA has already accepted the motion and together with other Southern regional football associations believe it is only through cooperation and hard work that the world showpiece can return to Africa once more.
It is believed that the Northern region where Morocco falls has also played a telling part in bringing down the former football president, therefore, launching a bid in their support is so much important for this cause, sources claim. Morocco was heavily criticised by the African football leadership for back tracking on their decision to host the 2015 AFCON. The nation argued that the then rampant deadly disease Ebola was a shock development that compelled them to reconsider hosting.
But it appears reconciliation has been reached as the North African country has thus far hosted the just ended CHAN tournament. BFA in particular says it unreservedly supports Morocco’s bid. This is even backed by the football relations the two associations enjoy. On the 7th of March of last year, a memorandum of agreement was signed between the two parties to foster a working football understanding.
In the same agreement, the two federations agreed that they shall work together and facilitate the organization of friendly matches of senior national, local and Olympic teams. Morocco is also expected to help BFA in the training of technical and administrative staff as well as referees, through exchange of programmes. These include, among others, development of sports events programmes and training workshop as well as promoting the development of youth football.
The onus now lies with Ahmad Ahmad, the CAF president to fruitfully endorse the African country at the FIFA congress. Speaking at the just ended summit he said, “I will act according to the regulations, but the fact of speaking about it is already a support for Morocco. With time, we will see how to manoeuvre possible support for the candidature of Morocco for the 2026 World Cup.”
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.