The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development is anticipated to hold crisis talks to decide whether Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) will be able to send athletes to participate at the upcoming Olympic games because of devastating threats posed by coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Olympic Games are expected to be held in Tokyo, Japan from July 24th to 9th August of this year.The Minister, Tumiso MacDonald Rakgare, however, said the Government of Botswana will of course rely heavily on the information gathered by Japan and close countries to assess the situation as days unfold.
“We are monitoring the situation and any decision that we are to make, will heavily be dependent on the information of the much affected countries,” the Minister said.There is a growing threat the illness could cause havoc for sporting events around the globe as health chiefs battle to contain the spread of the disease. Huge public gatherings, such as football matches and concerts, may have to be called off in the worst-case scenario, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Already a handful of countries have suspended their major leagues as the virus continues to hit hard. China, Japan, Switzerland and Hong Kong leagues have temporarily stopped. In Italy, some matches are postponed and it is why the high profile affair between Juventus and Inter Milan was never played over the past weekend.There are threats that the English premiership might be put on ice also.However, the International Olympic Committee Executive Board admit to have heard a report on all the measures taken so far to address the coronavirus situation, which they say was followed by a comprehensive discussion.
A joint task force had already been created in mid-February, involving the IOC, Tokyo 2020, the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and the World Health Organization (WHO).“The IOC EB appreciates and supports the measures being taken, which constitute an important part of Tokyo’s plans to host safe and secure Games. The IOC will continue to follow the advice of WHO, as the leading United Nations agency on this topic. The IOC EB expressed its thanks to WHO for its continued valuable advice and cooperation,” IOC said.IOC also praised the great unity and solidarity of the athletes, National Olympic Committees, International Federations and governments.
It welcomed their close collaboration and flexibility with regard to the preparations for the Games, and particularly the qualification events. All stakeholders continue to work closely together to address the challenges of the virus.The IOC EB of course encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The IOC will keep supporting the athletes by providing the latest information and developments.As things stand, four athletes have already won tickets to the Olympic Games namely; Nigel Amos, Christine Botlogetswe, Galefele Moroko and the only female boxer Keamogetse Kenosi.
While BNOC is yet to make a public target regarding the number of medals, they are saying a lot will be concluded in the not- so-distant future.
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.