Botswana aims for regional glory in football

Gaborone (Bostwana), May 8 (IANS) Botswana’s national team coach Stanley Tshosane says he is aiming for glory at the Confederation of Southern Africa Football Association’s (COSAFA) regional tournament to be hosted by Zambia from July 6-20.

Tshosane told Xinhua following a training session Tuesday that he plans to take a mixture of young and experienced players to the tournament with a view of reaching the finals and ultimately winning it.

The 23-man provisional squad of locally based players was announced last week and assembled in camp Sunday.

The draw for the tournament was made in Lusaka Friday night, where the 14 competing nations in the Southern African region learnt their fate throwing up some mouth-watering fixtures.

The eight lowest seeded sides according to the April FIFA World Rankings were pooled into two groups of four sides each while the remaining six teams enter the tournament at quarterfinal stage.

Botswana was slotted in group B alongside Kenya, Lesotho and Swaziland. Tshosane said they would not take any opponent lightly as they want to progress all the way to the final.

The closest Botswana has ever come to the final was when they finished third in the 2006 and 2007 tournaments.

“Every side there will be tough, it is important to start winning in the region, then build it from here to bigger competitions,” he said.

The COSAFA Cup returns for the first time since 2009, when then hosts Zimbabwe defeated Zambia 3-1 in the final. The COSAFA Cup was first played in 1997 as a regional championship for Southern African sides. Zimbabwe head the honours list with four titles, while Zambia, South Africa and Angola have three each. They are the only countries to have won the event.

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