By Bakang Mhaladi
Gaborone - The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has ruled out bidding to host this year's COSAFA Cup, after Zimbabwe withdrew, as the regional soccer body faces hosting dilemma.
However, Botswana is considering a request to organise the 2020 Under-17 tournament.
Zimbabwe recently withdrew from hosting the COSAFA Senior Challenge, saying the deal was not good for the football association or the country. This has left COSAFA in a quagmire, as mostly it is South Africa that has stepped in and rescued the tournament on several occasions.
Botswana, which was in line to host the regional tournament in 2017, has ruled out bidding this time around.
BFA Chief Executive Officer, Mfolo Mfolo, said COSAFA had recently made a plea that hosting should be a shared burden.
However, Mfolo ruled out a bid from Botswana for this year's edition. However, he said they can still alert their principals, the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), about an opportunity that exists.
"We would like to host but when you do, the commission must okay everything. Last year, we were supposed to host but we could not get the support from our parents(BNSC)," Mfolo said.
Mfolo, however, said after COSAFA's plea to spread the hosting burden, Botswana is considering a request to host the 2020 Under-17 tournament.
"COSAFA has taken a stand regarding the hosting of the COSAFA Cup. It wants the burden to be shared. They have asked us to host the 2020 Under-17 tournament and we have alerted our mother body, the BNSC.
"We are hopeful that we will host, as we have been encouraged to bid for international events by our government," Mfolo said.
COSAFA faces a headache to replace Zimbabwe as this year's hosts and might be forced to turn to South Africa once again.
Other than South Africa, only Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe have hosted the COSAFA Senior Challenge its present format.
Botswana was in line to host in 2017, but the government's decision to ban alcohol advertising meant that the Castle Lager-sponsored tournament could not come to Gaborone.
Angola was also in line to host in 2010, but due to the World Cup in South Africa, the tournament was cancelled.