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Zebras to host Eritrea

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Once again, Francistown will have the rare opportunity of hosting an international game between the Zebras and the Eritrean national team billed for October 13.

Briefing the northern city’s heads of department and the local organising committee recently, Botswana Football Association’s (BFA) chief executive officer, Kitso Kemoeng thanked the Francistown community for successfully hosting the recent game between the Zebras and Burkina Faso. 

“We felt very welcome, we had a good crowd, and most importantly, our team won,” Kemoeng said, adding that the huge crowd was the motive behind the local side’s triumph. 

Although the new sport facility, to be known officially as Francistown Sports Complex, may be a gem of a stadium, it emerged during the briefing that the challenges associated with it are untold, particularly regarding issues of traffic, security and entrances.

 “We hope for better planning this time around to ease traffic and avoid situations whereby motorists had to spend hours to get into or out of the stadium,” he said.

 Travellers going in or out of the city had an alarming experience as the Francistown-Maun road was completely out of bounds for them with security enforcers clearly overwhelmed by the rowdy match goers. 

“Imagine if there was a medical emergency situation, definitely no ambulance would have made it through timeously,” Kemoeng observed apologetically, with others trembling at the thought of what could have happened to other vehicles had one vehicle caught fire.

The football chief alerted that unlike the recent game which was played under CAF, the coming game would be shadowed by world football’s governing body, FIFA; as such issues of security such as fans wildly flocking into the pitch should be discouraged by all means possible. Heads of department appealed for the heightening of security both inside and outside the stadium; the provision of street lights right up to and beyond the stadium; improvement of the roads leading to the stadium and entry points to avoid the pitfalls previously experienced.  

 As the 26 000 capacity stadium appears set to be the most attractive venue for major sporting events, the Mminister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Nonofo Molefhi’s appeal for the new facility to be fully utilised is slowly but surely being answered. 

When handing over the newly completed state of the art facility to the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture in August, Minister Molefhi said, “I am happy to receive it from contractors and hand it over to the relevant ministry. From today, we will be asking the residents of Francistown how effectively they are utilising the stadium.”

First it was Zebras vs Burkina Faso, followed by Extension Gunners vs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and now the Zebras are to face Eritrea, and many have remarked that bigger things are in store for Botswana’s second largest city. The Zebras/Eritrea game will be played on October 13.

 Kemoeng said “it was the only date available to us; we did not have a choice, otherwise we would have loved a weekend game.” Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Leatile Chamo

Location : Francistown

Event : Briefing

Date : Sep 23 Wed,2015

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