SELEBI-PHIKWE: Selebi-Phikwe regional structure of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) is in talks with Selebi-Phikwe Town Council to try and forge a partnership in the utilisation of the Sam Sono Stadium for First Division and regional games.
The regional association has already made a presentation to the Council and is awaiting a draft proposal from the BFA to submit to the local authority.
This is necessary because without Premier League teams in the area, the stadium remain under-utilised because lower leagues cannot afford the charges.
The chairperson of the regional association, Barulaganye Moloi said council is eager for the proposed partnership because it would reduce maintenance costs of the stadium on their part.
“We want the stadium to benefit the region, so this partnership will go a long way in ensuring that our First Division and regional teams utilise the stadium,” he told Sport Monitor.
Moloi said they are already feeling the impact of the BCL closure as the association because teams are struggling financially. He said they are mostly concerned with the performance of the First Division teams in the region and that sometimes there is no money for teams to travel and honour fixtures.
“We once visited individual teams and had a meeting with them to establish their concerns and challenges, but the issue of funds was a primary concern,” he said.
He said they even advised Nico United to utilise its own playground for their league games to cut costs of using the stadium while Real Movers on the other hand recently used a playground at Botshabelo.
Moloi also observed a serious decline in the number of
“Administrators have also relocated as a result of the mine closure, leaving some teams with only about two or three officials running the team. So far three teams have failed to honour fixtures at lower divisions because of lack of funds. We have observed that the support is strong in villages than in the town because that is where people have relocated to,” he added.
Meanwhile, Moloi said the region has set up structures for youth development and have established a team comprising youth from villages in the region. The aim is to identify talent at grass root level to feed the national team.
He said the already existing under 13, 15 and 17 youth league for both boys and girls is ongoing though it experienced a serious decline in numbers as a result of the mine closure.
Also in an effort to promote women’s football, the region has identified 15 ladies football teams; eight in Bobirwa and seven in Selebi-Phikwe and will develop a system of play whether it be a league or a tournament.
The teams have been divided into two groups because of the issue of sponsorship.
However, according to the chairperson, only four out of seven Phikwe teams are active while all the eight in Bobirwa are active and already playing friendly games.