Francistown — As the long awaited football game between the Zebras and the Warriors of Zimbabwe approaches, Botswana Football Association (BFA) held a meeting on Thursday on preparations needed, especially concerning COVID-19.
The match will take place at the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown on March 25 and the two teams will be battling it out to qualify for the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
However, the public will not be allowed to attend due to enforced COVID-19 protocols on social distancing but the game will be broadcasted through Radio Botswana and Botswana Television.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairperson, Fanyana Fish said proper preparation was necessary to avoid incidents such as power cuts during the game, which was something that had occurred in the past.
Superintendent Edward Leposo of Tati police said Botswana Police Service would assign 25 security personnel of which four would be responsible for escorts while the rest would provide security at the stadium.
“We came up with this number after considering that there will be no spectators. We have assigned three of our vehicles for escorting the match commissioner and the two teams,” he added.
Likewise, Tsogo Mosinyi from Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development added that they intended to have a bus, a quantum and two cars to transport head of delegation from the visiting team, match commissioner, referees and the assessor. However she noted that request had been sent to the Central Transport Organisation (CTO) and that they were awaiting response.
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Water Utilities Corporation (WUC)’s official, Tuelo Oteng assured the availability of water in all the water tanks in the stadium. He also said there would be two individuals from WUC put on standby at the stadium to make sure water was accessible at all times.
Carlos Sebina from Botswana Football Association emphasised the significance of having accurate figures of all the individuals from the various departments who would be taking part in ensuring the success of the game.
He said this is because of the limited number put by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as a way of following the COVID-19 protocols.
Aldrid Ramaje from District Health Management Team said experience from the past, especially the last match between Zebras and Chipolopolo had placed them in a better stead to prepare for the match.
“A doctor, nurses, an ambulance and paramedics will be assigned to be at the stadium and assist accordingly,” he added.
He said also the stadium would be divided into four zones being the stands, players’ zone, control rooms as well as the parking lot.
Zones one and two, according to Ramaje, were to be tested for COVID-19 through the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method where swabs would be used to collect respiratory material from either the nose or the throat.
“As this method takes a while to confirm results, a selected doctor will be charged with the responsibility to ensure results for those eligible are obtained quicker,” Ramaje said.
All gates are to be locked to restrict movements between the assigned zones, except the one on the west. If Botswana defeats Zimbabwe, they will be playing against Algeria on March 30.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>