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BFA Financial Constraints Hamper National Teams

KABELO BORANABI
Letswiti at BFA general assembly
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) could not meet its set targets due to the reccurring financial constraints. It was announced at the last year’s BFA annual general assembly (AGA) that the association was P10 million in the red.

This year’s president report, delivered by BFA president Maclean Letshwiti and his first since ousting Tebogo Sebego, showed that the association has failed to meet some of its imperative target with lack of resources cited as the main stumbling block.

In the report delivered on Saturday at the BFA’s AGA, Letshwiti bemoaned poor displays by the national teams. He cited that the decline in the number of local players plying their trade in international leagues has significantly affected the performance of the Zebras.

“The performance of the national teams has been a shadow of itself ever since the qualification to AFCON 2012. This might be attributed to the calibre of players we have at our disposal. We are no longer exporting players at the rate we used to...the other particular aspect is that other teams bring development teams at competitions like COSAFA whereas we bring cream at our disposal, but we fail to make progress in the tournament. This is an indication that in terms of youth development, we still have a lot of work to do,” Letshwiti said.

In his report, Letshwiti further said the BFA was to establish women regional leagues by 2016 to 2018, this helping in forming national first division leagues

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by 2018 which would lead to the establishment of the first women’s football premier league in 2019. However, the 2016/2017 regional leagues were given a false start but some regions have already mobilised teams and awaiting commencement.

Under Letshwiti’s regime, the national teams’ performances have not been up to par. The Zebras were knocked out of the CHAN qualifiers in the first round.

The team was also eliminated in the quarterfinals of the COSAFA Cup while they are yet to win a match in the 2019 AFCON qualifiers. The men’s junior teams were no better than the seniors in the past football year.

The Under-20 was eliminated in the group stages of the COSAFA Cup held in South Africa last year without registering a win while the Under-17 followed the same fate in this year’s edition of the cup after registering a win and two defeats in Mauritius last month.

The women’s senior side are set to have an inactive year as their COSAFA Cup trip is in doubt with the BFA citing lack of funds. The Under-20 pulled out of the World Cup qualifies after suffering 7-1 home defeat to Kenya in the first leg and decided against playing the return leg.



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