The Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspection team is expected in Botswana next month to assess the country’s readiness to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) should its bid succeed.
The evaluation will include inspection of selected facilities that will be crucial during the tournament such as hospitals, airports, stadiums, roads, hotels among others.
The requirement for the bidders to host AFCON is that they should have at least six stadiums to cater for all the 24 teams that will be part of the tournament. In addition, CAF has indicated that from these six stadiums two should be of 40,000 capacities, two 20,000 and the other two 15,000.
Bid Committee Head of Secretariat Geofrey Gare told Times Sport that his team has already stated consultative meetings with leadership of the areas were inspection will take place to inform them as well as to make logistic preparations.
The bid committee team started its consultative meetings in Lobatse on the 9th June, Francistown on 12th then concluded with Maun and Gaborone on the 14th. Gare indicated that they met district commissioners, council chairpersons, DiKgosi and other relevant stakeholders to inform them about the readiness needed for the country to pass the CAF inspection.
According to Gare, Gaborone, Lobatse and Francistown stadiums can host AFCON games but needed some minor upgrades. He noted that three additional stadia would be built should Botswana be given the right to host.
“All the stadiums are illustrated in the bid book and they show our cultural heritage and national beauty as well as demonstrating that which differentiates us from other countries. We have also indicated as to where we are with regards to preparations,” he said.
Gare said with Egypt having pulled out of the race chances are high that Botswana’s bid may succeed. Botswana is now competing against Algeria, a joint bid of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania for the rights to host the tournament. Addressing the media previously, Minister of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare indicated that hosting AFCON also means the bidding country should have good ICT and internet access noting that Botswana is one of the countries that is doing well in that area.