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Bristol City FC Head To Africa For Friendship Cup

Fri 5th Apr 2013 | Marketing & PR

Bristol City are to embark on a pre-season tour to Botswana before the 2013/14 campaign after being invited to compete in a new three-team tournament.

Sean O’Driscoll will take his squad to the Southern African country in early July, where they will compete in the Botswana Friendship Cup and embark on community work.

The Friendship Cup will see City play two local sides; 11-time Botswana Premier League champions Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs, who have claimed the title twice. Both games will take place in the National Stadium in the capital of Botswana, Gaborone.

Additionally it will offer City the chance to further strengthen their community ties – one of the club’s five key pillars – visiting schools and local villages in the African country.

Via the Bristol City Community Trust, a lot of hard work takes place in the city and surrounding areas. The chance to extend that into another continent is a major positive behind the tour.

Majority shareholder Steve Lansdown says: “It is a great honour for the club to be invited to participate in the inaugural Botswana Friendship Cup.

“The idea was muted some time ago and as you would expect there has been a lot of things to work out, but dates have been firmed up and, subject to finalising various agreements, the tournament will go ahead in July.

“Although one of the smaller African footballing nations, Botswana is fanatical about the game. Having qualified for the African Cup of Nations last year, the invitation for Bristol City to become the first British team to visit the country is another step in its progression.

“I have been going to Botswana for over five years now and it is wonderful place to visit. For the players, management and supporters who make the trip I can assure them they will have a great time and be made very welcome.”

Head coach Sean O’Driscoll said: “As the first British team to visit Botswana, we have a duty to represent the club in the most professional manner as we possibly can and we will endeavour to do so.”

Managing Director Jon Lansdown said: “In the past few years we have put a real emphasis on strengthening our work in the community and the Community Trust has been key to that.

“There is still a lot more to do, but this will be our first foray into another country and it’s an important step for the Community Trust as well as our longer-term ambitions.”

The club is currently investigating the possibility of providing supporters with a package option to follow the team in Botswana, with more details to follow.

Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordered by South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia – and has a population of more than two million.

Primarily English-speaking, Botswana’s most popular sport is football and the national side qualified for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, going out in the group stages.

 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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