When the Zebras played the Stallions of Burkina Faso at the newly opened Francistown stadium, jubilant supporters jumped into the pitch as excitement levels became difficult to control following a 1-0 victory over the fancied Burkinabe.The Confederation of African Football (CAF) fined Botswana Football Association (BFA) an amount of US$5, 000 (about P50, 000) for pitch invasion. And the fine has hit hard the BFA’s already suffocating purse.
It is against this backdrop that the BFA is not leaving anything to ahead of the Eritrea game at the same venue on Tuesday night. “Once bitten, twice shy,” said the BFA CEO Kitso Kemoeng on Wednesday. He said the BFA is now clever than before thanks to the last game’s experience. Appealing for restraint from fans in bad or good times, Kemoeng appealed to the soccer fans to behave well before, during and after the game.
“Let us not jeopardise our chances of qualifying for the World Cup (to be played in Russia in 2018),” said Kemoeng. Eretria and Botswana will clash in the two-legged playoffs with the first leg having been scheduled for yesterday (Saturday) in Asmara. The return leg will be played in Botswana’s on Tuesday at 8pm in Francistown.
“At the last match (between Zebras and Burkina Faso), we had the unfortunate incident of the crowd at the end of the match jumping into the pitch which was not in accordance with the rules of international football,” remembered Kemoeng. He added: “We hope we will learn from that incident. And please appeal to your colleagues, brothers and sisters not to go into the pitch at any point of the match including at the end. It is a no go area.”
Meanwhile, to avoid congestion when entering the stadium, fans will be allowed to park their vehicle inside at no cost. Kemoeng said the development is aimed at discouraging motorists to park their cars sideways along the A3 Francistown/Maun road.