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AFCON‘s new qualifying dates confirmed

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced the new international calendar for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

African countries will face a busy schedule of continental football in 2021 with all international windows packed with qualification games starting from November 2020 to November 2021. CAF disclosed that the AFCON qualifiers will resume in November while the World Cup qualification games will begin in May 2021.

Botswana’s Zebras will be on a mission to record their first victory when they host Zambia in November. Both countries will play back to back games in November 8 and 17. This is a wonderful, hard-earned moment of sporting grace for a nation once riddled by political intolerance, to turn the corner in their own backyard.

The Zebras could also be haunted by their failure to tame Zambia in the yesteryears of Coach Colwyn Rowe and Stan Tshosane.Zambia, like the Zebras, have lately recorded bad results in the qualifying rounds, but the relaxed coach seems to be Adel Amorouche after inheriting an almost depleted squad.

There have been glimpses of excellence in a team that has looked energized. Zambia too, is on a revolution and many had hope that one of the most successful sides in Southern African football would will have an easy walk, but it seems to them that even in football, there is no easy way to the top.

However, in reality, the South African country who won AFCON in 2012 have never proved to be a dangerous opponents whenever they faced the Zebras. Of late, they have been busy luring some of their naturalized players in Europe to come and play for the country of their origin.

But stories of a united association and league do point rather wearily to the basic obstacle on Botswana’s own path that for so many years of separation of ownership and club control, with many investors coming to the game and now the Premier League edging Botswana national team’s concerns to the fringes.

They intend on bringing psychology and massive training to the game, but it also seems that, as much as they want to copy the style of other countries, basic skill is still a needed requirement. To date, Zebras losses are based around a diligent, muscular defence and a fast-breaking, penetrative attack by opponents.

Head to head
Games played: 14
Zambia wins: 6
Botswana wins: 4
Games drawn: 4

Sport

Mason Greenwood attempted rape charges dropped

2nd February 2023

Charges of attempted rape and assault have been dropped against Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood who was arrested in January 2022 after the allegations emerged.

The 21-year-old was arrested in January last year amid allegations surrounding images and videos that emerged online.

He was later charged with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the charges were discontinued after a key witness withdrew their involvement.

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Raphael Varane announces retirement from international football after 10 years of service.

2nd February 2023

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

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

30th January 2023

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.

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