- Team reached quarterfinals in its maiden appearance in continental tourney
- Only Lucara and O3 have come on board with incentives for the team
Botswana’s national women’s football team, The Mares, is receiving less rewards after its relatively good performances at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON), The Business Weekly Sports has established.
The Mares attained a historic feat by making it to quarterfinals in their maiden appearance at the continental tournament that is coming to an end tomorrow (23 July 2022), making the last eight after finishing among the third-placed teams in the group stages.
This is the team that lost two of their three group stage matches after starting the competition with a splendid 4-2 win over Burundi. The Mares went on to face the hosts, the Atlas Lionesses of Morocco, in a quarterfinal encounter that ended in a hard-earned 2-1 victory for Morocco. The loss to Morocco meant The Mares had to face the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon after pushing for a place in the inter-continental play-offs for the World Cup next year. Sadly for Botswana, The Mares lost the encounter 1-0.
“So far only Lucara and O3 have committed to offer incentives to the team,” said the CEO of Botswana Football Association (BFA), Mfolo Mfolo, in a brief telephone interview. “Lucara has pledged P200 000 whereas O3 will offer something in the region of P75 000.” Asked how The Mares will have a share of the WAFCON price money, Mfolo answered: “That is up to the BFA National Executive Committee (NEC) to decide. I cannot give any solid answer at the moment.”
According to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) website, teams that finished in the quarterfinals at this year’s WAFCON will be rewarded with $175 000 (around P2.2 million) by the continent’s football governing body. But what is next for The Mares? Mfolo told this publication that the next international assignment for Botswana’s national women’s team will be the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Women’s Cup that will take place sometime in September. Meanwhile, the 2022 WAFCON is coming to an end tomorrow with Morocco and South Africa in the final.