An international friendly football match is scheduled to take place between Ethiopia and Botswana’s Zebras to mark the latter’s independence celebrations on September 30.
Phakamile Kraii, Botswana Football Association (BFA) spokesperson, confirmed that the two teams will meet in Gaborone, Botswanas capital city, as the country marks 49 years of independence.
Botswana, which is bodered by South Africa to the south, Namibia to the west and north, and Zimbabwe to the northeast, gained independence in September 30, 1966 and holds countrywide celebrations every year.
In spite of the game marking the independence celebrations, Kraii said that it will also form part of the national team’s preparations for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Eritrea on October 7.
Botswana is scheduled to visit Eritrea for the first round match CAF qualifiers on October 7 and host them back October 13 this year. The winner will proceed to the group stages of the world cup qualifiers.
“The coach will use this game as his last preparatory match before we play the world cup qualifier,” Kraii said.
Botswana emerged victorious over Burkina Faso in a match played in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in the northern city of Francistown at the beginning of September this year. Kraii said the game against Eritrea will also take place in Francistown following a huge supporter turnout for the game against Burkina Faso.
However, the game between the two teams was flawed by crowd pitch interruptions as supporters’ celebrated Botswana’s rare victory over the so called “African powerhouse”. Kraii, however, stated they have not considered moving the games out of the city promising that his team supporters would not repeat such a mistake.
Also, BFA has since decided to turn the newly opened 26, 000 sitter stadium in Francistown as the national team home ground. Meanwhile, CAF has not communicated anything with the BFA regarding the pitch interruption incident, despite the local football authority saying they were likely to face sanctions from the continental body.