Gaborone — Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) visited the Zebras’ second training camp on Wednesday ahead of their crucial encounters against Zimbabwe and Algeria to show support and give them a word of encouragement.
Speaking during the visit, Minister Tumiso Rakgare said it was crucial to win next week’s game against Zimbabwe because it would bring Botswana a step closer to taking part in AFCON.
He said the team was capable of winning considering the pool of talent in camp.
However, he explained that talent alone was not enough to succeed, saying commitment and discipline were critical.
He said should they qualify for AFCON, the players would be in a good position to showcase their talent on an international stage and stand a chance to secure contracts at more developed leagues.
The minister said he wished to see some players plying their trade overseas, which would benefit both the players and the nation.
“Such players would be in a financial position to maybe build a stadium in the country,” he added.
Rakgare assured the team that he was aware of the challenges they were facing, noting that his ministry, in collaboration with the BFA, was working on ways to address them and make the team happy, hence better results.
“Do not doubt our commitment to addressing the challenges you face, there are steps to be followed that include different stakeholders in order to reach some decisions,” he said.
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He indicated that government was fighting COVID-19 day and night and once the situation improved, football activities would go back to normal.
The minister also highlighted that they were in talks with different stakeholders so that when the league started, there would be a sponsor.
For his part, Zebras coach, Adel Amrouche said he was happy with the minister’s visit, adding that his presence was a motivation to the team.
He highlighted that his team was determined to win and would make the country proud. “The most important thing is to make the country happy and I assure you that we are going to make it,” he added.
Team captain, Kabelo Dambe said the minister’s visit was a sign of support, which was a motivation to the team.
“It shows that we are not in this battle alone, the government and the country at large are behind us,” he said.
He said they would do their best, revealing that moral was high in the camp. “We will not disappoint, we are going to fight and win, we are determined, focused and motivated,” he said.
The national team is in position three in group H of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers with four points from four games.
The team lost to Algeria and Zambia, drew with Zimbabwe and won against Zambia on the return leg.
The Zebras only qualified for AFCON in 2012.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>