The government has thrown out the window bid documents from the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) to host the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) in favour of other sporting events to be hosted that year.
The government believes that hosting the event, along with the others will be financially demanding.
WeekendSport can safely reveal that the government through the Ministry of Youth Sport & Culture (MYSC) has been carefully perusing through the documents and they were not “convinced by the report”.
The bid was expected to be sent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by the end of September after approval by government. Only Botswana and Scotland were competing to host the multisport games, but failure by Botswana to bid is expected to give the Scottish, the games on a silver platter.
Although the affected parties have not come forward to divulge any information with regards to the bid, those in the know say the rejection from the government was influenced by the fact that there are many sporting events coming to Botswana in the next years, so it was going to be exorbitant to host another event of such magnitude .
“Remember that next year we will be hosting the dance competitions and the following year we will be hosting the 2017 Youth Netball World Cup plus the International Women Group (IWG) meeting in 2018 so the government thought it would be too much for them if they were to allow the bid to go through,” a reliable source from the two offices told this publication.
This publication’s efforts to request the budget for the games were unsuccessful as it is still a closely guarded secret. However, before submitting the bid to government, BNOC had said the budget would be less than that of the 2014 Africa Youth Games (AYG) as “the CYG has only 10 events as compared to the AYG’s 21 events.”
Staging the event would have been a golden opportunity to host the world more so that the games are a platform for the “less known” countries to cut their first teeth in hosting great events as this one. That the event is taking place in 2017 along with other major events in local soil would have been a plus.
BNOC CEO, Daniel Tuelo Serufho, was hyped about the prospect of hosting such an event saying the country had proven its capability based evidenced by the success that was the 2014 AYG.
He was also confident of the country’s facilities, “Now we have amenities like the UB indoor facility and two tracks in UB and the national stadium, besides unlike the AYG which had 21 sports the CYG has only 10 so we can host,” he was quoted as saying by this publication earlier this year.
However, Botswana had initially wanted to bid to host the 2021 games but rode on the 2017 opportunity when the initial host ST Lucia, had its stadium converted to a hospital, in the aftermath of a fire that burnt to ashes one of the two public hospitals in the island.
Meanwhile, the BNOC is still cagey and won’t comment on the matter, but it is evident that the snub by government has disappointed them.
Efforts to get hold of Serufho who was the kingpin in the bid did not materialise as he was said to be engaged in a series of meetings, continued efforts hit a snag as his mobile number rang unanswered at the time of going to print.
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‚Äôs 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.