Botswana to Increase Security for Zebras’ Return Game Against Eritrea

Zebra fans invading the pitch
Win or lose, they invade. Botswana Football Association (BFA) and police promised to increase security to deter Zebra fans from invading the pitch, during and after the matches, again. Confederation of African Football (CAF) held BFA responsible for a mass pitch invasion last month in Francistown by fans after wining Burkina Faso 1-0.

By Koketso Kgoboge,

In a bid to avoid a repeat of incidents of last month’s clash between Burkina Faso and the Zebras, organisers are leaving no stones unturned for Eritrea’s visit next Tuesday.

Fans raided the pitch while some vehicles were broken into, in addition to traffic congestion to and from the Francistown Sports Complex.

Deputy divisional traffic officer north, Senior Superintendent Pelontle Kesupile said security will be beefed up at the stadium and strict measures put in place to regulate traffic.

“No vehicles will be allowed to park along the road and all those who will not abide will be fined. All the cars shall be packed in the stadium and in stipulated areas. Parking inside the stadium is free and that is to encourage people to park inside.

“It is a night game and we cannot compromise. We will have officers in uniform and others in plain clothes patrolling in and outside the stadium to safeguard people’s properties,” Kesupile said at a press conference held here yesterday.

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) chief executive officer, Kitso Kemoeng said they have received a report from the organising committee regarding the Burkina Faso tie. He said measures are in place to resolve previous challenges.

“Firstly, we had a huge problem of pitch invasion and we have worked with the LOC to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

We have through different forms addressed that issue and we continue to appeal to our sisters and brothers.

not to invade the pitch at any point of the game. Results of pitch invasion are costly and it is against football rules.

“Another major issue was that of traffic; there was a congestion and both teams found it difficult to make their way out of the stadium after the game. We are working with relevant authorities to address this matter and we want to believe that this time around we will minimise those shortfalls,” he said.

Kemoeng explained that they were forced to schedule the game for Tuesday after FIFA gave them dates to choose from.

“For the first leg Eritrea were given the 8,9 and 10 of October and they settled for the 10th and we were given the 11,12 and 13 of October. We were left with no choice, but to opt for the furthest date which is Tuesday to allow our team to travel,” Kemoeng said.

He said the game is scheduled to kick off at 7pm, but the organising committee is in talks with other relevant authorities to have the game kick off at 8pm to allow for live coverage of the game.

Tickets have been on sale since last Thursday and gates will open at 3pm to reduce traffic congestion to the stadium.