Botswana to play Malawi in friendly
Gaborone (Botswana), March 12 : Botswana national football team "The Zebras" play Malawi at home next Tuesday in an international friendly match that forms part of their preparations for their upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Ethiopia.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) made the announcement Monday. This came exactly a day after the squad assembled in camp in preparation to the Ethiopia tie, reports Xinhua.
Botswana will travel to Addis Ababa to play Ethiopia March 24. According to BFA marketing and communications manager, Malawi's "Flames" will fly into Botswana next Monday and play the match the next day at the University of Botswana (UB) stadium here.
Zebras' coach Stanley Tshosane welcomed the Malawi friendly match, saying it will aid his preparation for the World Cup qualifiers, which he said is already behind schedule.
Tshosane last week called a provisional squad made up of entirely local based players to camp. He, however, said not all players reported to camp Sunday as some are still held up by club commitments. The local league continues during midweek, therefore some players will not report to camp until after the games.
Players from defending league champions Mochudi Centre Chiefs, who make up the bulk of the squad will also not be able to report to camp until next week Sunday after they play their Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League match against Congolese side TP Mazembe.
Tshosane said this will dent his preparations for the Ethiopia game. He, however, said is hopeful he will get all his foreign based players to camp after the Malawi game to intensify preparations.
Botswana is currently languishing at the bottom of Group A of the World Cup qualifiers after playing two matches. They lost away to Central Africa Republic (CAR) before being held by neighbouring South Africa to a draw at home. Tshosane said the Ethiopia match is of utmost importance to his side if they still harbour chances of making it to Brazil 2014.
The Zebras have been performing badly lately failing to repeat a good form that saw them qualify for their first ever Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2012. The team has not won any official match in a full calendar year from the beginning of 2012 until now. This has led to the calling of the sacking of the coach but the BFA said they are confident he will turn things around.