A race against time!

Portia Mlilo
FILE PIC: Kgaswane during previous game

Kgaswane plans whirlwind return to Bots with passport set to expire

Unemployed and over 7, 000km away from home with his passport set to expire in eight days, midfield maestro Mpho Kgaswane is a worried man.

The 26-year-old’s days in Azerbaijan are temporarily numbered after he chose to terminate his contract – due to run until 2021 – with Premier League side Zira FC.

Describing the split as ‘amicable’ and a decision he made because of the Baku-based club’s financial problems, for once football is the last thing on Kgaswane’s mind.

Instead, the former Gaborone United starlet is focused on one thing – getting back to Bots as quickly as possible.

With limited flights out of Azerbaijan and nothing at all to Africa, the Mmankgodi-native faces a race against time to get home before his passport expires.

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He is planning a whirlwind trip to do so.

“I am hopeful of finding a flight next week; from Azerbaijan to Turkey and then on to Ethiopia and finally Zambia. Then I will travel by road from Zambia to Botswana,” revealed the BW football export, who joined Zira FC at the start of 2019 after four years with South African outfit Baroka FC.

In an exclusive interview with The Voice from his home in the Azerbaijani capital on Wednesday, an anxious-sounding Kgaswane added, “What worries me most is that my passport is expiring on the 8th of August and we have no embassy this side! I am thousands of miles away from home. I have offers from other clubs here but I have to come back home to sort out passport issues.”

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As for what his next footballing move will be, and with reports linking him with a possible return to GU, Kgaswane stressed, “I have not decided on whether I should come to play home or consider these international offers. It has been a frustrating couple of months with the outbreak of Covid-19 and suspension of football activities; now my contract has been terminated!”

Asked what sort of financial pay-off he received from Zira FC, the gifted winger replied simply, “I do not want to talk much about my compensation. I am fine. We parted ways amicably.”

It marks a sad end to an 18-month adventure that brought much joy and pride to local football fans. For now though, Kgaswane must embark on a venture of different sorts, getting from Eastern Europe to Southern Africa before next Saturday. The race is on and the clock is ticking!

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