Tati African Football Independence Club(TAFIC) will have the opportunity to face Zimbabwean giants Highlanders at the Francistown Sports Complex on Saturday 28th October. The game between the two ‘sister teams’ is one of the activities lined up to entertain thousands of people expected to grace the annivesary celebrations of the Francistown City’s 120 years of existence. President Ian Khama is to be part of the government officials attending the event.
The relation between the two hugely popular teams goes back for decades. This has led to a healthy relationship between the two teams who have played off-season friendlies in the past. Over the years TAFIC have benefitted in acquiring talent from their more player-resourced counterparts on easy teams. Nevertheless, TAFIC and Highlanders have not played against each other in close to four years. More recently, a tournament which was organised by Joy Foundations and scheduled for July this year involving Mochudi Center Chiefs, Dynamos also from Zimbabwe and Super Sport from South Africa failed at the last minute apparently because Joy Foundations had failed due to alleged lack of funds.
According to the TAFIC PRO, Warrent Kolola, the team has written to the Botswana Premier League(BPL) seeking permission to play Highlanders. TAFIC are currently awaiting a response from the league management body. However, when contacted for comment, the Acting CEO of the BPL, Thabo Ntshinogang, said that he was not aware of the request. He however confirmed that it is procedural to do to ask for permission from BPL to play such games during the league season. “Even if according to the fixtures as they stand now, TAFIC have got no game on the day in question, the day still belongs to us.
There might be adjustments to the fixtures resulting in the team being involved in a league game that day. So, they cannot commit themselves to the game without clearance from us,” said the BPL boss. Meanwhile, TAFIC assistant coach, Elias Chinyemba looks forward to the game. “As TAFIC, it is an honour to play Highlanders. The game, which will be played on Saturday after a league game on Friday, will test our resillience and staying power,” said Chinyemba.