415 days since Botswana teams last kicked a ball  


Today [Tuesday 4 May, 2021] marks exactly 415 days since Botswana football clubs last kicked a ball in a domestic competitive match.

The Botswana Premier League closed shop on March 15, 2020 with all other Leagues worldwide doing the same to limit the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of course, Jwaneng Galaxy and Orapa United got a bit of a run in the Caf Champions League and Caf Confederation Cup, but could not go very far.

It has been 415 days of uncertainty with the dates for the return of football unclear. First, there were indications that football would return as early as January with some comprehensive plans for a return on the cards.

The FA Cup, which was halted at the quarter-final stage, was supposed to kick start proceedings, followed by league action.

However, with COVID-19 cases rising soon after the festive season break, the restart was pushed to the end of February.

That was also put on ice after the government announced the suspension of all contact sport activities.

The Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) accused the Botswana Football Association (BFA) of failing to make a loud enough noise to convince authorities to allow a return to action.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the FIFA Approved Management and Administration course held in Gaborone last month, BFA president, Maclean Letshwiti, said those that were calling for the return of football were ‘Facebook lunatics’.

“Forget about Facebook lunatics, they are playful, they should tell their children to go and play. We have done anything possible… We should be able to return to play very soon.”

Letshwiti said there was a comprehensive return to action plan, which had been submitted to the government.

With hopes of a return looking bleak, the BFA confirmed over the weekend that there will be no 2020/21 football season.

In nullifying the season, the BFA national executive committee resolved to adopt new return to play guidelines to be submitted to the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development as well as the Botswana National Sport Commission. The BFA also announced there will be a new football tournament, although there were no further details.

RELATED STORY: Gaborone giants seek answers from Botswana FA over Fifa Covid-19 relief funds

By FARPost Reporter

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