- But BFA says The Mares need more money
Botswana’s women’s national football team, The Mares, has received a grant of P4.1 million from the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) for participation in the 2022 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON), The Business Weekly Sports has established.
A donation of P10million has also been made to the Zebras for AFCON qualifiers. The Mares will be making their maiden appearance at the biggest women’s football competition on the continent that is slated for Morocco from 2nd to 23rd July.
Following the team’s qualification to the competition earlier this year, Botswana Football Association (BFA) stated that The Mares would need an estimated P7.2 million to successfully compete in the tournament. “We have allocated the team P4.1 million to support their AWCON journey,” said the CEO of BNSC, Tuelo Serufho, in an interview. “We settled for the figure after realising that some companies have come on board to assist. It must be noted that this P4.1 million does not stop the private sector from coming on board to help.”
The CEO of the BFAm Mfolo Mfolo said that the P4.1 million will cover the team’s travel costs and international training camps in Tunisia and Morocco. “We had asked for P7.2 million but BNSC considered that some companies like Debswana Mines (Orapa and Jwaneng) came on board for local training camps,” he said. However, Mfolo added that being in receipt of P4.1 million from BNSC does mean that The Mares do not need any further financial support. “We need incentives to motivate the players with cash rewards, hence we need the corporate sector and individuals to come on board with more financial support.”
The Mares will be among 12 teams that will be competing at AWCON that doubles as the African qualifiers to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The top four teams at AWCON will automatically qualify for the World Cup while two more teams will advance to inter-confederation play-offs. Meanwhile, the men’s national team, The Zebras, have received P10 million from BNSC mainly for AFCON qualifiers. “But more money is still needed for competitions like the Africa Nations Cup (Chan) and the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA),” Serufho said.