May 11 – The Saudi Arabian Football Association (SAFF) has signed another MoU with an African nation, this time with the Botswana Football Association (BFA) with a view to accelerating “the sport’s development in both countries and explore various areas of collaboration”.
“The agreement will focus notably on grassroots development, women’s football and governance, organization of friendly matches as well as coaching and refereeing development,” said SAFF.
Saudi Arabia is rapidly developing its football ambition and will host the 2027 Asian Cup. Botswana also has hosting ambition and has entered the bidding for the hosting of the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations. The bid was originally intended to be joint with Namibia. However Namibia pulled out citing difficulty getting government financial commitments, leaving Botswana to go it alone.
Having the Saudis as friends and supporters could provide them with valuable expertise in the bidding process.
are trying to salvage their efforts to host the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations after Namibia withdrew from a joint bid one day before the deadline for submitting expressions of interest.
BFA President Maclean Letshwiti said: “We are excited to embark on this journey alongside SAFF as we are inspired by their drive and progress in world football.”
Saudi Arabia has certainly opened up football and rapidly so. It has recently hosted training camps with various national teams from all age group categories. Last week the Saudi U-17 men’s team drew 4-4 with Ghana (with who SAFF has an MoU) as part of its preparation for the AFC U-17 Asian Cup.
“We are delighted to announce our collaboration with the Botswana FA and we look forward to achieving fruitful exchanges with them and share our common passion for football” said SAFF President Yasser Al Misehal.
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