Bumpy Lekidi ground blamed
The Zebras Lekidi training ground has come in for criticism after the bumpy pitch was responsible for injuries to players in camp.
When the Zebras went to camp there were around 22 fit players, but that number has been drastically reduced. And worse still almost all the players in the team have been sick either because of football injuries or flu.
At press time the Zebras were in Lesotho for a friendly game in preparation for their big encounter against Tunisia away on the 1 July, and Chad a week later at home. For the first time the Zebras will use the University of Botswana ground in an official FIFA match.
Voice Sport can reveal that attacking midfielder Dirang Moloi, striker Onalethata Tshekiso, and defender, Michael Mogaladi are all injured, and didn’t travel with the team to Lesotho. The trio remained in camp under Patrick Zibotchwa undergoing treatment with a view to get them back to full fitness.
In addition several Zebras players failed to train for the Lesotho game either because of flu or some minor knocks.
Also missing from the camp due to injury was skilful midfielder Pontsho Moloi, who told Voice Sport that he would be out for at least three weeks because of an injury he sustained in the last COSAFA tournament in Zimbabwe.
“I can confirm that I have been carrying the injury, but managed to finish the league with it while at Bay United. I can only say it is clear that our training ground is not level – it played a part in aggravating the injury.
“I hope to be back before the tournament ends or possibly the third game against Malawi,” he said.
Tshepho Motlhabankwe is also another notable absentee from camp having been ruled out because of a knee injury.
The Botswana Football Association Vice President Technical, Dintle Mphele confirmed that they had been able to use the SSKB ground after fears that they might loose more players.
“We realized that the Lekidi ground was not good enough, that pitch has never been up to scratch really. We can only hope it will be redone and meanwhile we will be using the SSKB,” he said.
At press time there were more potential difficulties on the Zebras trip to Tunisia, as the team could not find flights to carry all the players. Most flights were fully booked due to the World Cup, and there was a possibility that the team may have to travel on a chattered plane or risk travelling in different groups.