Botswana’s Hockey Team Disqualified From Indoor Africa Cup

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Botswana’s men and women’s indoor hockey teams were disqualified from the Indoor Africa Cup held in Swakopmund, Namibia over the weekend for arriving late for the tournament.

Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) had sent a total of eight ladies and 10 men team to the tournament, which had a bus  breakdown on the way leading to its disqualification.

The tournament regulations stipulate that when a team fails to honour the first match of the tournament, regardless of the reasons, it is automatically disqualified from the tournament.

Following the disqualification of team Botswana, the tournament continued with the remaining three countries that include Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Thus, the three nations battled it out for the top two places in the men and women’s competitions, which ensured qualification for the FIH Indoor World Cup to be held in Croatia next year.

In an interview, BHA President Unaswi Matebu said the disqualification was a draw back for the team because they had intended to use the games for the  much needed game time as well as to gauge the team’s performance, as they are currently building a team for future competitions.

However, Matebu stated that the teams played friendly games at the tournament against some of the participating countries. She said that their ladies team played against Namibia, Zimbabwe and missed South Africa game while the men’s team missed both Namibia, South Africa games and only played against Zimbabwe.

As of Monday this week, the team was reported to be still in Namibia while arrangements were being made to provide alternative transportation back home.

Prior, to the tournament Matebu had told Times Sport that the association did not have funds for camps, including the trip itself, adding that the athletes opted to self-fundraise for the tournament instead of missing out on the tournament. She had stated that it was tough for athletes to raise funds for the tournament but hopefully that would work for them.

Matebu had revealed that in preparation for the tournament some athletes through their clubs had been trying to self-fund and play indoor tournaments hosted by South Africa, Namibia and Eswatini. She said that their intention was to do their best at the tournament despite the circumstances they faced, among them the absence of some of their team A- athletes due to financial challenges.

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