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AFCON 2027 BID: Namibia delegates tour Botswana facilities

Namibian officials, visiting at the invitation of Botswana delegation, last week toured sporting facilities around the country as the two countries work towards their 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) bid.

It is said the Namibian delegation also came to familiarize themselves with the state of affairs of football in the country, but the verdict of their discovery is still unknown.In a country dreaming to host the prestigious African show-piece, Botswana will have to dig deeper to turn around its fortunes to climb up the ladder of success.

Two months ago, Confederation of African Football (CAF) officials came to Botswana to assess the readiness of its facilities to host CAF Games. It turned out that only Obed Itani Chilume Stadium passed the CAF requirements, while the rest failed, including both Lobatse Sports Complex and the famous National Stadium in Gaborone.

Reports, however, indicate that both Gaborone and Lobatse Sports complex will need a lift if the bid sees the light of the day.The capacity of Gaborone national stadium is 25 000 while Lobatse sports complex has a carrying capacity of 20 000.

On the other hand, Namibia is standing up to their sport arenas. It is said the Sam Nujoma and Independence stadia are up for renovation after football was halted due to politics surrounding sport officials.The Namibian Cabinet’s approval of Botswana’s offer to co-host the event came from the friendship between the two countries, while it is also a lot cheaper to jointly host Afcon.

Under the current framework, this is going to be a 60/40 ratio arrangement, in which Namibia would cover 40% of the costs and reap 40% of the benefits, while Botswana would take will take 60% of the costs and further enjoy 60% of the benefits.

With regard to matches and the hosting of teams, 16 teams would be based in Botswana, and eight would be based in Namibia, which would be split into two groups of four.It is agreed that Namibia will not have the taxing task of building a stadium as facilities at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, and at four other venues in Windhoek, where the teams can prepare for the tournament are already up to scratch.

Nambia believes this is the opportunity to partner and rope in the private sector, because although it’s a government initiative, it has to be driven by the private sector to ensure there is economic growth and cultural exchanges between them and other countries specifically Botswana, Angola, South Africa and Zimbabwe, which are nearby.

The AFCON 2027 bid is awaiting to be assessed and so far Morocco, Senegal and Burkina Faso have all raised their hands to host the 2027 edition.Neither Botswana nor Nambia have hosted the tournament, and the two countries are expected to make the issue the thrust of their case.


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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Clubs petition Zackhem, Jagdish Shah

23rd January 2023

Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.

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P80 million windfall for BFA

9th January 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.

The Forward 3.0 funds – to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.

According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.

“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,” Infantino noted.

The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.

“A contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and referees’ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,” the report indicated.

FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.

Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.

For the specific projects – in the case of Botswana and Namibia – there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.

The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.

When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; “Ours is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.”

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