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Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 16:08 UK

Botswana may play home fixtures away

By Tshepho Bogosing
BBC Sport, Gaborone

Botswana may be forced to play some of their joint 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in neighbouring South Africa.

Botswana's national stadium
The national stadium in Gaborone is to undergo renovations

The two stadiums in Botswana capable of hosting international matches are both affected by renovations.

Gaborone's national stadium is set to undergo refurbishment at the end of June for 18 months.

The Molepolole stadium, 40km from Gaborone, is currently being refurbished, with no indication as to when it will be ready.

The stadium had an artificial pitch installed as part of a continent-wide project by the game's world governing body, Fifa.

But Fifa was not happy at the way that the surface was laid, and the process is being re-done.

While qualifiers in June will be played at the national stadium, there may be no venue available for their final home match in Group 7, against Mozambique in October.

If Botswana progress to the second group phase, they could still be without a venue.

Botswana Football Association, chief executive Tosh Kgotlele told BBC Sport that if Molepolole stadium is not ready, the Zebras would have no option but to play outside the country.

Currently we are just keeping our fingers crossed for Molepolole stadium to be finished on time

Tosh Kgotlele

"Obviously we would look outside the country and the only alternative is South Africa because it is near," said Kgotlele.

"Currently we are just keeping our fingers crossed for Molepolole stadium to be finished on time."

Fifa development officer Ashford Mamelodi expressed optimism that Molepolole stadium would be ready before the qualifiers begin, but that once the work is complete, the onus will be on Fifa for approval.

"I can assure the people of Botswana that Molepolole Stadium is almost complete. But at this stage Fifa is the one that makes the final decision," said Mamelodi.

"If they say no as they did earlier on Botswana would have no option but to look elsewhere."

Zambia and Namibia also face the prospect of playing home games in South Africa as their stadiums may also not available on time.

see also
Namibia qualifiers under threat
25 Apr 08 |  African
Zambia stadium hits cement snag
14 Apr 08 |  African
Sierra Leone name neutral venue
19 Apr 08 |  African

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