Botswana In Tricky AFCON 2025 Qualifiers Draw

  • Zebras drawn in Group C alongside Egypt, Mauritania and Cape Verde
  • Botswana has lost three out of four competitive games against Mauritania
  • Losing record of four defeats in five games against Egypt hardly helps confidence


The Botswana senior men’s football national team has been handed a tricky draw in their bid to qualify for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) that will be held in Morocco.

The Zebras have been drawn in Group C of the 2025 AFCON Qualifiers where they will tussle against Egypt, Mauritania and the Cape Verde.

The draw was conducted in Johannesburg, South Africa last Thursday.

Group stage dynamics 

The group stage of the AFCON 2025 Qualifiers will feature a total of 48 countries that have been divided into 12 groups of four teams each.

The teams will face each other in a round robin system where the top two teams from each of the 12 groups will automatically qualify for the 2025 AFCON Finals.

The teams will face each other in home and away games, hosting three games on their own turf and three games on the road.

Zebras’ Group C schedule 

The qualifying phase will start in September and will see the Zebras travelling to Mauritania on 2 September.

Botswana will then host Egypt on 6 September at a yet to be confirmed venue between the National Stadium in Gaborone or Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown.

The group stage qualifying phase will resume in October during the international football break.

Botswana will travel to Cape Verde for the first time-ever for a fixture with the national team of the West African archipelago and island state on 11 October.

A tricky affair

Four days later, the roles will be reversed when the Zebras host Cape Verde.

On 11 November, the Zebras will host a home game against Mauritania before rounding up their group stage games with a fixture in Egypt on 15 November.

The Zebras’ group stage opponents present a tricky affair for Didier Gomes da Rosa’s team that has amassed a losing record against Egypt and Mauritania over the last few years.

Botswana has faced Mauritania four times in competitive AFCON Qualifying matches in the past, losing side three times and recording a single win.

Botswana and Mauritania faced each other for the first time during the 2008 AFCON Qualifiers. Their first official encounter was on 2 September 2006 whereby Mauritania won 4-0.

Rare revenge 

On 16 June 2007 Botswana avenged their 4-0 drubbing by winning 2-1 against Mauritania at home.

The two nations then renewed their rivalry in the 2019 AFCON Qualifiers. Mauritania got the better of the Zebras on both occasions, beating Botswana 1-0 on 10 June 2017 and 2-1 on 18 November 2018.

Botswana has never recorded a win against Egypt in a competitive fixture. The two teams met for the first time in the AFCON 2008 Qualifiers.

A memorable 0-0 draw with Egypt 

On 7 October 2006, the Zebras held Egypt to a memorable 0-0 draw in a game in which Zebras defender Ernest Amos stood out for keeping Egyptian striker Ahmed Hossam Mido tightly marked at the National Stadium in Gaborone.

However, the draw was as good as it got for the Zebras against their North African opponents to whom they have lost their last four games.

The Zebras will be hoping to qualify for next year’s AFCON tournament in Morocco after a 12-year absence from the Finals. The last time the Zebras qualified for the continental tournament was in 2012 under the tutelage of Stanley Tshosane.