It was unfeasible to play Bafana, says Botswana

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The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has defended its decision to reject a proposal to play Bafana Bafana in an international friendly match.

The BFA came under heavy scrutiny following the move which would have seen the two teams clash during the upcoming FIFA international window.

The fixture would have been played at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg with the South African Football Association [SAFA] footing the Zebras’ trip bill.

However, the BFA has said it was unfeasible to play the game when football has been on a hiatus for over a year in the diamond-rich nation.

“Our technical team advised us against taking up the offer as this was done on short notice,” explained BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane.

He added that the technical team had submitted a plan to go into camp to prepare for the upcoming COSAFA.

“We are currently in talks with other associations to secure friendly matches during the next FIFA week and we remain optimistic that we will succeed,” Mpatane said.

Although there is no official announcement on the next edition of the Cosafa Senior Men’s tournament, indications are that it could take place in July.

Zebras coach Adel Amrouche is expected to announce his squad ahead of the camp.

However, Amrouche will have to pick a squad from players that have not played football in over a year. It remains uncertain when football will return in Botswana.

On the other hand, Bafana’s new coach Hugo Broos last week named a 19-member squad to play the Ugandan Cranes in a friendly international match on 10 June. The match will be played at Orlando Stadium and kicks off at 18h00.

The match against the East Africans will be the first for Bafana since the disappointing Afcon qualifying match against Sudan in Khartoum on 29 March which they lost 2-0.

The friendly match with Uganda is part of the national team’s preparations for the upcoming Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

South Africa are in Group G, together with Ghana, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. Bafana commence their campaign away to Zimbabwe before welcoming arch-rivals Ghana at home in September.

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