The Botswana national football team formed in 1970. The team joined the Confederation of African Football in 1976 and affiliated to FIFA in 1978. Botswana has never qualified for the world cup but recently qualified for its first African Cup of Nations.
Botswana’s first international came in 1968, a few years before the team officially formed. It was not a successful début, the team lost 8-1 to Malawi. Seven goals remains Botswana’s record margin of defeat. The record was equalled in 1990 when the team lost 7-0 to Zimbabwe.
The team first entered world cup qualifying in 1994, but did not register a single win. Botswana lost three out of four group stage matches, only registering a 0-0 draw with Cote d’Ivoire at home to save some face. The next attempt, for the 2002 world cup, was no more successful. Botswana lost both legs of a tie with Zambia.
Botswana’s fortunes improved in qualification for the 2006 world cup. The team gained a first world cup qualifying win in a first round tie against Lesotho. Botswana won their home game 4-1 and drew 0-0 away, progressing to the second round on merit. The group stage saw more improvements from the team, winning three of ten matches. Botswana beat Malawi home and away and Kenya at home. Despite finishing second bottom, it was the team’s best qualifying performance.
For the 2010 world cup, qualifying was less enjoyable for Botswana. Starting in the second round group stage, the team only managed one win a to draws. This time Botswana finished bottom of their group.
Ranked 92nd by FIFA, the Botswana national football team will need sustained improvement if they are to stay in the top one-hundred teams in the world.
World cup 2018
Fixtures to be announced.
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