Botswana considers Zimbabwe’s proposal for joint AFCON bid

Gaborone, Sep 26 (IANS) The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has acknowledged receiving a proposal from their Zimbabwean counterparts requesting for a joint bid to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

“We received the letter from Zimbabwean Football Association (ZIFA) Monday and we have asked Keith Masters (CEO) to see if the government would buy into it should we agree to Zimbabwe’s proposal,” BFA vice president Tariq Babitseng told the media Thursday, reports Xinhua.

Babitseng said they have tasked the BFA CEO Masters to approach the government with the proposal to get a green light on whether to submit a joint bid with their northern neighbours.

The Zimbabwean government has already cleared ZIFA to go ahead with the bid and they are just awaiting Botswana’s response.

Zimbabwe approached Botswana after having earlier approached Zambia for a joint bid but they turned them down as they are hosting a youth championship in the same year.

Libya was supposed to host the AFCON 2017 edition but due to civil unrests, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped them off the opportunity.

Should Botswana agree for a joint bid, they would face competition from Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya who had already expressed interest to host the biennial showpiece.

CAF has announced that due to limited time to prepare for 2017 AFCON, their executive committee would award a bid to a country or countries that guarantees that accommodation, transport, hotel facilities as well as training and competition venues already exist.

Botswana has never hosted the tournament before but has already hosted continental tournaments at junior level. They hosted the Africa under-17 championship in 1997 and just recently hosted the Africa Youth Games(AYG) in May 2014.

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