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Fiscal limits force Botswana to lose COSAFA bid

Botswana has sadly missed an opportunity to host the coveted COSAFA Cup due to financial constraints, according to Botswana Football Association (BFA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mfolo Mfolo. Mfolo revealed this shocker to the media recently during his monthly football association’s health bureau briefing noting that this came as a result of Botswana’s failure to raise the prerequisite 25% fee (BWP5 million – about US$522850.00) of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Castle Cup.

As a result, Mfolo said Botswana was left with no option but to pull the plug on the annual southern Africa soccer showdown. According to the CEO, BFA has no funds to allocate to the tournament as most sponsorships have lapsed and they had hoped government though the sporting arm, Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) will come to their rescue which never materialised.

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Mfolo said their request to the BNSC was nullified on the basis that there are numerous other sporting activities which the government plans to host in 2018. The tournament’s 25% budget is estimated to be at least P5 million – about US$522850.00.

“It is unfortunate that we have to forget hosting this tournament due to financial constraints. At first when the government went to shop about how excited they were as a government to be hosting the football showpiece, they were unaware of the prerequisite budget contributions.

Onkabetse Makgantai of Botswana during the 2016 Cosafa Cup Semifinal match between Botswana and DR Congo at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek Namibia on 22 June, 2016 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Nonetheless there is nothing fancy about hosting the tournament; the integrity of the BFA is still solid. We don’t have the funds to host as most sponsors have lapsed and thus we have to move forward and look into other projects. The BFA has many good prospects looming. The failure to secure the COSAFA Cup must become water under the bridge,” concluded Mfolo.

Meanwhile, the new host of the 2018 COSAFA Castle Cup we are reliably informed will be announced at the next meeting in South Africa next month (February). According to the COSAFA Media Liaison, Lydia Greeff, all matters including Botswana’s untimely U-turn will all be discussed at the annual general meeting (AGM) next month. “COSAFA is awaiting details from an interested Association which will be presented to the Executive Committee on the 16th of February at the AGM,” she said.

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Moagi Madisa

"Although journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information and also the product of these activities; for me its science - our sorroundings"

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