AFTER being turned down by Zambia, Zimbabwe is talking to Botswana for a joint bid for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
This comes just 24 hours after Ghana made its intentions clear on the 2017 finals while Algeria, losers of the 2019 and 2021 bids, also entered the fray to host the finals that were supposed to be staged in civil-war ravaged Libya.
Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze said they would also look at Mozambique as a possible partner for the finals. The deadline for the submission of bids in next Tuesday, September 30.
“We have enlisted a consultant that is working with officials from Zifa, the Ministry of Sports, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and Sports Commission that will come up with the bid document in the shortest possible time.
President Mugabe has given the Zifa the much-needed Government guarantee whose absence cost Zimbabwe the games in 2000. The finals were moved to Ghana and Nigeria.
Zimbabwe has three stadiums – the National Sports Stadium in Harare, Mandava in Zvishavane and Barbourfields in Bulawayo. The fourth is Rufaro, but it has an artificial turf that needs to be removed as such finals are only played on grass.
Accommodation is not a problem in Harare and Bulawayo, but decongestion of the capital should be speeded up if Zimbabwe wins the bid.
Botswana, on the other hand, has a national stadium in the capital in Gaborone and recently successfully hosted Africa Youth Games in May.