Botswana have tried their hand in just four previous campaigns, starting out with a first-round exit in 1994 before suffering a play-off defeat by Zambia eight years later. The Zebras had to wait until 2006 and a play-off win against Lesotho to clear the initial hurdle for the first time, but they then finished one place off the bottom in their second-round group, with Tunisia sealing top spot. Handed an automatic place in the second round ahead of South Africa 2010, they struggled to compete and finished their section in last place.
The current crop
Never before have Botswana boasted a richer seam of talent, the present generation having outdone all their predecessors by qualifying for the 2012 CAF African Cup of Nations. They secured that first ever finals place thanks largely to eye-catching wins against Tunisia and Togo, and those performances will have the country’s two million inhabitants dreaming of similar exploits down the road to Brazil 2014.
The key players
First blooded at international level in 2008, Jerome Ramatlhakwane has matured into a fine striker, his goals and his understanding with national hero Dipsy Selolwane having helped the Zebras shine on the African stage.
Coach: Stanley Tshosane
Best performance in a FIFA competition: None
Former stars: Itumeleng Duiker, Donald Thobega