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Zebras’ Qualifiers Participation Subject To Gov’t Approval

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BFA optimistic that the team will travel to Zambia

BONGANI MALUNGA

The Botswana senior men’s national football team is gearing to face Zambia in an AFCON 2021 Qualifying Group H double header next month, however, honouring the away fixture is subject to government approval as travel restrictions are still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the looming State Of Public Emergency extension.

Borders are still closed while only essential service workers or essential products are allowed cross border travel at the moment. The Zebras are scheduled to travel to Zambia on November 9 before hosting the Zambian side on home soil on November 17th.

Zebras coach Adel Amrouche recently released his provisional squad for the November Qualifiers and the national team is set to join up for camp in the first week of October. Despite the importance of the away game against Zambia, a top BFA official informed Gazette Sport that they have to wait for the government to give them their approval and travel permits to honour the fixture.

“Borders will have to be open for the team to travel but we are optimistic that we will be given permission to travel. We have the intention to travel, we have to prepare for the game but ultimately we have to abide by the laws of the country, we are awaiting the government’s approval in that respect,” the BFA official stated.

The double header is crucial to Zebras’ chances of qualifying for the AFCON tournament. Amrouche’s side is currently third in Group H with one point from two games. Collecting points against bottom placed Zambia could boost Botswana’s chances as they could make up ground on second placed Zimbabwe who they will host in the penultimate game of the group Qualifiers on March 22 next year.

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