Blessing in disguise for Mighty Warriors

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THE African Women’s Championships first round first leg football match between hosts Botswana and Zimbabwe has been moved to tomorrow from today, but there is serious confusion over the venue in which it will take place.

HENRY MHARA IN GABORONE, BOTSWANA

Initially, the match was supposed to be played this afternoon at the Molepolole Sports Complex, some 60km from the capital Gaborone, where the Mighty Warriors are staying.  However, the Zimbabwe delegation was informed by their Botswana counterparts that the match had been moved to tomorrow.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) liaison officer Kabelo Mahlangu broke the news to the bemused Zimbabwean team on Tuesday night.
“We have just received communication from Caf to the effect that the match will be played on Friday, instead of Thursday. They said there had been a mix-up on the dates,” Mahlangu said.

Zifa and the BFA were engaged in negotiations to try to convince Caf so that the match could go ahead as initially planned, but could not make a breakthrough.

As it became clear that Caf would not budge, the BFA was  forced to look for a venue for the match as Molepolole is booked for tomorrow.
Lobatse Stadium, 75km out of Gaborone had been seen as an option, but after an assessment yesterday, it was deemed unfit to host such a high-profile match.

Mahlangu said they were negotiating to have the match played at the University of Botswana (UB) Stadium, the venue for the Caf Champions League match between Dynamos and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Sunday.
“As it stands, we have not secured the venue for the match. I understand UB Stadium is also booked but we are still negotiating. There is also Sir Seretse Khama Barracks Stadium, but they are saying it’s also booked on the day. We are hoping to convince those that have booked UB Stadium to excuse us, and the negotiations are encouraging,” added Mahlangu.

However, the change of dates could be a blessing in disguise for the Zimbabwe team who now have an extra day to recover after a tiresome road trip from Harare to Gaborone.

“Of course we will have an extra day to recover. We had another session this morning for regeneration purposes and the signs are good. We will have a training session this afternoon (yesterday) and then at the match venue tomorrow (today),” coach Rosemary Mugadza said.

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