Botswana: Botswana and Namibia (BONA) 2027 bidding committee held its 3rd press conference to update members of the fourth estate on the facilities audit progress, where they vowed to intensify the race to jointly bid to host one of Africa’s most competitive soccer competitions, AFCON 2027.
Speaking at the briefing, the Chairman of the bidding committee, Mr Ashford Mamelodi, said the bidding committee had procured the services of Ruben Reddy Architects to conduct the facilities audit both in Botswana and Namibia. He said the facility audit had been successfully completed in Botswana. However, the consultant is currently in Namibia to continue with the audit.
He indicated that in Botswana, the consultant audited facilities in Lobatse, Gaborone, Francistown and Maun. The key stakeholders consulted included the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana and Airports, Health facilities, the Botswana Tourism Organization, the Department of Information and Broadcasting, the Department of Information and Communication Technology, and Botswana Power Corporation.
Mamelodi highlighted that the consultant had been assigned to audit similar facilities in Namibia and meet with key stakeholders.
He said the intention is to secure three stadia in Namibia and 4 in Botswana. He was optimistic that by mid-March 2023, they would have the facility audit report for both countries ready. The report is expected to outline the budget required to close the gaps in meeting minimum requirements for various elements to be certified by CAF.
Mamelodi stated that the bidding committee through Botswana Football Association continues to lobby CAF to schedule one of their annual executive meeting in Botswana as a way for them to appreciate the progress.
He emphasized that the bidding committee will have to put up a compelling case to convince 12 of the 21 CAF leaders to vote in support of BONA2027. He said that locally they are working to involve local leadership to sign declaration statements in support of the bid, engage the Football Union of Botswana, appoint bid ambassadors and possibly have a friendly game between Namibia and Botswana to strengthen their bid.
The Chairman said that one of their outstanding milestone achieved is approving the BONA2027 logo that will be utilized for communication, marketing and for awareness purposes. The agreement in the allocation of key match games is that once they win the bid, Namibia is set to host an opening encounter, while Botswana will host the final game. The press conference addressed media houses in the two countries.