Botswana Football Association’s attempts to launch another football tournament this season hit a snag after Botswana Football Association (BFA) failed to close a sponsorship deal with a potential sponsor before the season commenced, WeekendSport has learnt.
There is glaring anticipation, however, that the tournament otherwise known as the FA cup will be played in the coming season. According to sources very close the potential sponsor, negotiations have not collapsed, but rather have gone at a slower pace with next year February being the deadline.
The BFA current regime is adamant that a potential sponsor has been identified with few logistics yet to be tabulated. According to BFA, it is not necessary to force matters this season, owing to the already congested season. Although it is not proudly maintained within Lekidi football centre, this publication has learnt that there is a bittersweet mood sweeping across executive committee boardrooms regarding the turn of events. It has been established that some members are bitter that the FA cup will not be launched sooner as had been anticipated others are however content that the wait is necessary so as to yield fruitful results.
In whatever way, the BFA administration is insistent that the tournament that was last played in 2012 will soon be revived. Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) trading as Coca- Cola is the last sponsor of the cup. The tournament was first held in the summer of 1992. Extension Gunners was the first team to win the tournament and Gaborone United, another premier league perennial campaigner, was the last club to take the cup home.
However, history records indicate that the tournament was initially played in 1968, by then it was called Lions’ cup. According to records, both Gaborone United and Township Rollers won the tournament on six occasions. No team from the lower divisions has ever won it. When reached for clarity, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane flatly refused to comment on the issue saying “there is nothing we can share with the media, please let us all understand that some of the things are confidential, and will forever remains so.”
Under normal circumstances, the tournament is played by all 16 premier league teams and all 24 first division sides. Usually, a total of 64 games are played and the eventual winner automatically books a slot for Confederation of African Football (CAF). The last mention of the FA cup tournament was made by BFA president MacLean Letshwiti at the association general assembly sometimes in July. He assured that the competition would be played, although he could not indicate the exact time. The BFA boss was careful not to mention the name of the sponsors. Under the past regime, retailer group stores, Choppies were once reported to have shown keen interest in sponsoring the tournament. However, nobody knows what happened between the giant retailer and BFA.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.