Botswana: A high-powered delegation from Botswana has descended on Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to promote the Botswana Bid for the 36th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON); on the sidelines of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) General Assembly and regional meetings that are taking place from 11th to 13th July 2023.
The Botswana delegation is comprised of, amongst others, the Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare, Permanent Secretary at MYSC, Kagiso Kemoeng, Botswana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria HE Conny Kealeboga-Nkani, Bid Committee (BIDCO) Chairman Ashford Mamelodi, BIDCO Member, Tuelo Serufho, representatives of the lead Consultancy, Ruben Reddy and football stalwarts Diphetogo Selolwane and Jerome Ramatlhakwane.
The delegation is in Abidjan to meet with representatives of the Confederation of African Football (CAF)’s 54 Member Associations, especially the 22 Members of that body’s Executive Committee; the latter being the structure that will decide in September 2023, the host for the 36th AFCON.
Unofficial reports suggest that besides Botswana, there are four other bids from Algeria, Nigeria/Benin, Kenya/Uganda/Tanzania, as well as Senegal. Therefore, The bid is very competitive; as such, it is important for Botswana to do everything in its power to position itself as the best candidate.
“We have delivered to CAF what we believe is the best bid book, and we are not worried about that score. However, we understand that the decision of who will host 2027 will boil down to the 22 CAF Executive Committee Members, and that is why we must leave a lasting impression on them,” BIDCO Chairman Ashford Mamelodi said.
For his part, BIDCO Member Tuelo Serufho and Chief Spokesperson stated that at the time of the press release, they had met with more than 70% of the CAF Executive Committee Members, most of whom spoke very highly of the professionalism of the Botswana team, and the seriousness with which they are taking the bidding process”.
As the next phase of the bidding process, a Team of inspectors from CAF is expected to visit B0tswana from the 20th to 22nd of July 2023 to tour existing stadia, green fields, hotels, airports, and other infrastructure necessary for the successful staging of the AFCON, in addition to having a series of meetings around plans contained in the Botswana Bid Book.