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Deadlock on league return vote

8 clubs have no problem to return to the field

As debate rages on about what remains of Botswana football, confusion and fury emerged when a vote on whether to resume the league was split down the middle at a meeting of 16 shareholders of the Botswana Football League (BFL), held last week.

There was an attempt to seek opinion on when and how to kick start the elite league in an environment heavily threatened by the coronavirus.

WeekendSport learns that all attempts hit a snag as the mission was stymied for a second time in a space of two weeks.

Board of Directors previously held its own meeting to map a way forward about the state of football but could not agree to the terms, resulting in the matter being called for a vote.

Sources stress that two Directors wanted the league to return at the earliest possible time while two others feared that COVID-19 is still a major threat.

The same model for opinion finding was then carried at the shareholders meeting but nothing concrete came out.Division emerged as Township Rollers, Gilport Lions, BR Highlanders, Notwane, Extension Gunners, Morupule Wanderers, Sua Flamingos and Mogoditshane Fighters all voted to suspend football until a time it is safe to play.

On the other hand, Gaborone United, Orapa United, Jwaneng Galaxy, BDF XI, Prisons XI, Police XI, Masitaoka and Security Systems all made their cases clear that the league must resume at the earliest time possible.

The clubs argue that they are incurring costs by paying players who are just sitting home. However, it is reported that there was no counter argument over this but the attempt to restart the league anytime soon was unsuccessful.

As a result of this, BFL remains on the side-lines but there is a high possibility that the league will re-start in March, according to sources. Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) agrees that the elite league has to return but football activities are seen as super spreaders of the virus. Therefore, the responsibility remains with each sport federation (where there is contact) to present a case for safe return.

The Chairman of BFL, Jagdish Shah, is believed to be worried but the slow response of sponsors towards kick starting the league. According to sources, Shah had hoped to have secured P100 million but his dream is said to have been frustrated by corona virus cases. As things stand, it is said BFL has managed about P 9 million.

When reached for further clarity, Shah said there is still confusion surrounding the commencement of the game because of varying statements from all sport stake holders. This, he said left the committee in no man’s land regarding the way forward.

“We are still confused about what to do, everybody says what they want. There is no correlation within stakeholders but it is our wish to resume the league,” he said.

On one hand, Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) has demonstrated anger towards the mother body for keeping quiet about the resumption of the league.

The players union said BFA must own up as players are suffering from anxiety due to lack of football.

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