Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, David Fani has said that they decided to drop the bid to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations to focus on the Zebras’ promising campaign to qualify for the 2012 event.
The decision came after a meeting with the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture last week. The BFA had initially submitted a bid document to the ministry through the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) days before the September 30 CAF deadline. Fani now says that after a meeting with the ministry, the association pondered the matter further and decided to abandon the bid. “The Executive Committee took a number of things into account, particularly that the main focus should be on getting the Zebras to qualify for the 2012 African Nations Cup and, once qualification has been achieved, to extensively prepare the team for the finals so that it goes as far as possible in the competition,” Fani told Mmegi Sport.
He said the Zebras’ qualifying campaign will require substantial funding and this would be the BFA’s priority. “To us, and I am sure to the people of Botswana, it will be a major achievement for [the] team not just to qualify but to go beyond the group stages in Gambia/Equatorial Guinea.” Meanwhile, BFA has released the names of locally-based players for the friendly match against Equatorial Guinea next Tuesday. ECCO City Greens’ striker, Bonolo Fraizer has been included in the squad after snubbing previous call-ups. The bustling striker was once quoted saying he would not return to the Zebras’ fold to sit on the bench. The striker has however joined the team.
Fraizer together with striker partner at club level, Malepa Bolelang, has been in good form. Bolelang however has been overlooked by the national team selectors but Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ striker, Moemedi ‘Jomo’ Moatlhaping has been recalled. His return comes after a couple of good performances for his club. Since the arrival of coach Rahman Gumbo, Moatlhaping has won back his place in the starting line up at Magosi and his confidence is slowly returning. Zebras’ coach, Stanley Tshosane has called 23 locally-based players for the camp to prepare for the Equatorial Guinea game. The BFA said in a press statement that since it will be a FIFA international week, they are processing a request for the foreign-based players to join the Zebras.
The local squad so far has: Mompati Thuma, Patrick Motsepe, Mokgathi Mokgathi, Mosimanegape Ramohibidu, Noah Maposa, Pontsho Moloi, Tshepo Motlhabankwe, Moatlhaping, Othusitse Pilane, Patrick Lenyeletse, Fraizer, Maano Ditshupo, Musa Ohilwe, Ofentse Nato, Gobonyeone Selefa, Kaelo Kgaswane, Moshe Moseki, Lemogang Maswena, Ndiyapo Letsholathebe, Kabelo Dambe, Onalethata Tshekiso, Sekhana Koko and Joel Mogorosi.