The Secretary General of Footballers Union Botswana, Kgosana Masaseng, has accused Botswana Football Association (BFA) of failing Botswana Football by failing to convince government to allow or support football to return play.
Masaseng questioned the commitment of BFA in pushing for football to return indicating that players are left helpless as they have been taking pay cuts for over a year now.
He claims it is either BFA leadership fails to represent the football sector or they misrepresent them by not saying issues as they are on the ground when engaging government.
“You wonder how other industries like buses or transport or even entertainment managed to convince government to return to business while the BFA has over a year now failed to get government to allow them to return.’’
“I mean what is different when Galaxy plays with Pirates? Do you mean they cannot observe the same protocols when they play Rollers in a mini league or tournament? There are so many questions that we been asking BFA and have little to no answers,” said Masaseng.
President of the Footballers Union Botswana, Onalethata Thekiso, also emphasized that they last met with BFA in January and have not met since for follow up meetings.
“It’s not true that we just come to the table without bringing in suggestions. We have asked on many key issues; if we return will we have sponsor, how far with sponsorship negotiations, will we play a full league or mini league or even tournaments,” he said.
“We also tried to identify high risk areas to both players and referees. So the arguments that there is nothing we bringing do not hold water and we are clear in our message that we want football to return to the field of play at least they should let us know when will we return so players can know or plan better in terms of contract negotiations,” said the heated FUB President.
Football in Botswana has been suspended due to the corona outbreak with the last action being of Orapa United and Jwaneng Galaxy who were competing at CAF competitions.
Zebras will play Zimbabwe and Algeria this month and they are expected to book a spot at AFCON Cup billed for next year.
“How do we expect our teams and the national teams to compete fully when they are not even match fit? Let’s find a way of returning to the playing fields that will satisfy all the COVID-19 protocols,” said the former Zebras striker.
Some football players have taken to social media to express their desire to return to football and showing that life is hard for them without playing football.
For his part, the Public Relations Officer of Botswana Football Association, Tumo Mpatane says they continue to engage all stakeholders and will make sure that football returns when everything permits.
“We understand that some stakeholders may be unhappy but we are in this together and as BFA we continue to work hard on making sure that football returns safely and at the right time,” said the BFA spokesperson.
Athletics is one of the sporting activities that for many years has been consistently performing extremely well in international competitions. One of the reasons is the availability of qualified and experienced coaches, who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that they scout talent and develop more athletes.
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.