Zebras use small stadium
BOTSWANA have confirmed that they will host next month's World Cup qualifier against Bafana Bafana at the tiny University stadium in Gaborone.
The date, kickoff time and venue of the match has been transmitted to Fifa. It will be played on Saturday, June 9, at 3pm at the University of Botswana Stadium, which holds just 8000 spectators and faces the possibility of being overrun for the game.
It is the only venue available to Botswana because of pitch problems at the National Stadium in Gaborone and the new venue in Lobatse. Both have capacities of more than 20000 but have been ruled out because the fields are unplayable.
Botswana had considered ceding home-ground advantage in the Group A game because of fears that security at the university stadium would be inadequate.
They had first asked the South Africa Football Association to host the June 9 clash and Botswana to play at home in next year's return game, but Safa not surprisingly rejected this proposal.
Then the Botswana Football Association (BFA) considered the possibility of hosting the game across the border in Mmabatho but this was quickly shelved when the idea caused a storm of protest in Gaborone.
Playing at the small stadium creates a major headache for officials because it could be difficult to control the number of spectators expected to want to see Bafana Bafana in action. Botswana fans are desperate to see their improving side humble their more populous neighbours.
It also denies Botswana a chance for a major revenue-earning opportunity. Gaborone newspapers claim the BFA is bankrupt and the potential to fix their finances is now denied them because of the limited number of spectators they can accommodate. Ticket prices have yet to be set but fans travelling from South Africa can expect to pay anything from R300 upwards.