The recent pull out from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) competitions, Champions league and Confederations cup by Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gaborone United has left the BFA President Tebogo Sebego with a serious headache.
Speaking to WeekendSport this week, Sebego said this is a sign of regression for local football which is supposed to be moving forward.
“I think this is a lesson and at the same time a drawback but we can’t blame the teams because they have shown intentions to compete,’’ he said.
Gaborone United broke the silence on Monday revealing that they would not take part in the competitions citing financial pressure. The Reds’ decision comes weeks after Chiefs also revealed that they will not compete in the Champions league, citing high expenditure as the main reason.
Chiefs’ mouthpiece told this publication that they needed around P300, 000 for their Mozambique trip while GU would have to pop out P500, 000 to make it to Zanzibar.
Sebego is a proponent of these competitions as it gives the local players exposure of facing other teams in the African continent, especially those that are not in the national team set up. Chiefs were pitted against Mozambique side Ferraviorro while GU had a date with the Zanzibar champions next weekend.
The pull out by the two teams which are at the front seat in the commercialisation drive has left football commentators with mixed reactions as others feel it is justified while others believe the local players should feel the rocky African terrain.
“These CAF things are of no help to us, the local teams which are struggling financially lose their hard earned cash in the competition and they don’t reap anything,” Leatile Mmutle, a Duma FM sports presenter said.
Mmutle believes that at least CAF should have some incentives for the teams that participate especially that the local teams only end up at the preliminary round.
In the past the teams were assisted by the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) for the continental assignments but they have since pulled the plug. Again for the league champions, Be-Mobile in the past paid out P100, 000 sponsorship for Champions League competitions but they have also since aborted that mission.
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For the first time after eons, football clubs plying their trade in the elite league are walking in the shadow of the undefined with nothing concrete agreed and on sight before the commencement of the football season.