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BFA asks for immunity…

Premier League Players

Botswana Football Association says (BFA) it is vulnerable amid the sudden suspension of sports and recreation and has consequently written to high-ranking sports authorities asking for exemption as the country battles the third complex wave of coronavirus.

According to informants, the local football mother body believes that the suspension is a significant drawback to the carefully laid down plans and further disrupts their hatched policies to kick-start the 2021-2022 season just a month from now. In a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), Tuelo Serufho, the association requests that the sports body be considerate and permit premier league clubs to continue training preparation to return to play are in full swing.

Information gathered claims that the association argues that the clubs have, before the suspension, been observing laid down COVID-19 protocols, and there is no how they could have contributed to the rising number of COVID-19 cases around the country. “Weirdly, our clubs had just returned to training, and when everything was about to gain traction, we are told to stop again, it kills the momentum, and it cannot go on like this,” an anonymous source from Lekidi Football Centre told WeekendSport.

Serufho, on the other hand, confirmed receipt of the letter from the association but rightly dismissed their plea, contending that it cannot fly in these current circumstances.

“Yes, it is true, BFA has written to us, but we are yet to respond officially. Remember, this is not about football only, but sport as a whole. I do not think their request will be successful, especially with the conditions we find ourselves enduring. They must wait and allow only Jwaneng Galaxy, Orapa United, and the ladies team, Double Action, to play because they are on national duties,” Serufho explained.

The COVID-19 task force and the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development believe sporting activities are also super-spreaders of the deadly virus. They argue that there is an urgent need to play a waiting game for at least three weeks to stabilize the situation.

However, there is a growing concern that sport in this country will die a natural death should the status quo remain in place. The suspension can come when the country was united by the men’s 4x400m scintillating performance at the just ended Tokyo 2020 Olympics games. The golden boys brought home a bronze medal and the government, in the heat of the moment, found it fitting to reward them with Two bedroomed houses. But again, the government and sports bodies find themselves grappling with a familiar question; how do they want to improve sports performance within the era of COVID-19?

The suspension of sports activities also coincides with a time when football was about to forward a proposal to BNSC requesting all contracted players be included in the vaccine rollout and allow fully vaccinated people to attend matches.

All the while, some observers say it is still a farfetched dream as the country is running behind time to vaccinate the frontline workers and the general populace. As a result, industries like sport will always be on the back foot, notwithstanding its performances.

It is the third time sport is suspended after the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. It is anybody’s guess when and how the industry will proceed forward after all these lockdowns, but one thing that is coming out is that the BFA request will not see the light of the day.

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