‘Botswana Open For Partnership In Hosting AFCON’

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AFCON 2027 bid committee head of secretariat Geofrey Gare has revealed that they remain open for possible partnership with other Confederation of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) member countries and the local private sector for making sure that the showpiece becomes a success should their bid succeed.

Botswana submitted its AFCON 2027 bid book to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) headquarters in Cairo on May 23.  In an interview, Gare expressed confidence and satisfaction that they have mounted a compelling bid to host AFCON 2027.

He indicated that they are willing to work with other neighboring countries in terms of any offer they can give such stadium facilities which can be used as training grounds for participating teams.

Gare said the same call is also extended to the local private sectors which he said they will approach to see where they can also help. He highlighted that when South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup, FNB came on board and built a stadium known as the FNB Stadium.

“Such developments are welcome here too and we are looking forward to approaching local companies and ask for their input,” Gare told Times Sport.

Speaking in an interview recently, bid committee chairperson Ashford Mamelodi also concurred that should the bid succeed, the private sector would be predominantly critical and they will continue calling for them to come on board.

He also revealed that should their bid succeed, construction of the needed facilities will start immediately with some earmarked for Greater Gaborone, Maun and Kasane.  He added that CAF will undertake its own inspection of existing facilities and the plots earmarked for building stadia.

“It is expected that CAF will announce the winner before the end of September 2023, giving the successful bidder just under 4 years to prepare for the continental showpiece,” he added.

Mamelodi emphasized that the bid book sells the Botswana story; from her history through her current status, to her future ambitions; most significantly demonstrating the country’s ability to deliver a mega event of the AFCON.

“For us, submission of the bid book is the greatest milestone we have achieved to date. We did not just submit a bid book, but a very compelling one that should land Botswana the rights to the prestigious AFCON competition in 2027,” he said.

Besides Botswana, CAF has also received a joined bid from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as well as solo ones from Egypt and Algeria.

Meanwhile FIFA president Gianni Infantino is expected to jet into the country soon to launch a special project that will help close gaps between African football and the rest of the world and that gives Botswana a boost in terms of recognition by CAF.

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