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Zebras trip costs Gov’t P1 million

Publishing Date : 08 October, 2018

Author : MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE

The Ministry of Youth empowerment, Sport and Culture development is expected to part with an estimated P 1 million as national team travel to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso for Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON)’s third qualifying game.


WeekendSport establishes the Ministry of Sport will foot the bills to the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security as Botswana Football Association (BFA) seeks a charted Botswana Defence Force (BDF) flight. The Zebras will be confronting Burkina Faso dilemma twice in the second week of October.


Informants told this publication that the defence force Lieutenant Colonel Daman has charged the association an amount of BWP 51 000 as an hour air charter rate for the trip that is expected to last 18 hours.  It is claimed that the team will be flown to Ouagadougou and back to Francistown, taking the total amount to be spent to P 918 000. Other charges will emanate from navigation, landing and parking fees that all amount to BWP 40 000, WeekendSport has been told.


As drilled by Coach Major David Bright, The Zebras is anticipated to play a matter of life and death encounter with Burkina Faso on two juxtaposed encounters.  The Zebras squad needs a moral boosting win as they languish at the bottom of Group I without a point and without a goal. Bright’s side faces a Burkina Faso team that also desperately seeks points to reach the AFCON finals to be played next year in Yaounde Cameroon.


The Stallions were shocked by Mauritania when defeating them by 2-0 in the last rounds. Zebras were also beaten by Angola by a solitary goal at Luanda. Coaches from both sides now know a loss will effectively begin to end their chances of reaching Cameroon for the finals. Even Bright will know that taking the team to Cameroon was never his mandate. He is still building. But for Burkina Faso coach, his countrymen are fast running out of patience.


The pairing of Botswana and Burkina Faso is a repeat of AFCON 2017 qualifiers where the latter eventually dominated the group to participate at the 31st AFCON showpiece last year. On the very same qualifying rounds last year, The Zebras managed to finish 3rd behind eventual group winners Burkina Faso and runners-up Uganda. This year, blood brothers Alain and Bertrand Traore will headline the Burkina Faso squad for this month’s back-to-back 2019 Afcon qualifying matches against Botswana.


Alain has been in top form for Moroccan side RSB Berkane, while Bertrand has scored four goals in seven French League 1 games for Lyon. Burkina Faso coach Paulo Duarte has also included in his 24-man squad, Paris FC striker Jonathan Pitroipa as they seek to rescue their collapsing campaign.


The ball is in Bright’s court to respond. He is expected to call prolific strikers, Bonolo Fraizer and Omaatla Kebatho to turn the corner. While Burkina Faso will be without injured darling striker Aristide Bance, The Zebras’ defence will painfully miss their defender Thabang Mosegi who has undergone a knee operation.

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