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FNB in talks to rescue women football

KABELO BORANABI
The women's game has stalled due to lack of sponsorship
Last month, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has announced that the national women’s football teams would be given cash injection by an unnamed company with invitations for the launch already been sent out.

However, a month later the proposed deal is yet to materialise as the BFA awaits a response from the potential sponsor. 

Sources said the BFA was in advanced talks with commercial bank, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) and the deal is almost done and dusted. The pact is expected to be a major boost for the cash-strapped association and was to be launched after leading supermarket chain, Choppies sponsored the junior male national teams in February. 

Mmegi Sport is informed that proposals were sent at the same time to both Choppies and FNBB. Choppies opted for the boys while the banking house was in negotiations to jump on board the women’s game. Choppies takes care of boys’ Under-15, 17 and 20 with all their needs while in camp. The multinational bank was reportedly following the same route, but on the women’s side. “We had a delay from the potential sponsor’s side. As of now we cannot share details as the negotiations are private and shall remain as that. We also cannot put a timeframe on it (conclusion of the deal),” BFA public relations officer, Tumo Mpatane told Mmegi Sport. He also could not name the company that the association is in talks with. But the Bank confirmed receiving a proposal from BFA. “We can confirm that FNB received a proposal from BFA to partner in various initiatives. We are currently reviewing the proposal,” FNB marketing and communication director, Obonye Marope said in response to Mmegi

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Sport’s enquiry.  

The local women’s game has been in the doldrums since 2012 after, transport and logistics company, AT&T Monnakgotla pulled out of sponsoring the league. The national teams are yet to qualify for any major competition since 2002 with the best results being accumulating four points when the senior side was knocked out of the group stages of the COSAFA Women Championships held in Zimbabwe, last year.  The BFA has revealed that there is light at the end of the tunnel as they are working on turning the women’s game around.

Speaking at a press briefing recently, following the Botswana Premier League’s benchmarking trip to Spain, BFA chief executive officer, Mfolo Mfolo said BPL and La Liga’s deal would help improve the women’s game as the Spanish have extended a helping hand to the BFA. 

“Our main priority is at the region. The idea is that we need to improve (football played at) the regions. Once there is mass participation at the regions, the league would become stronger at the First Division and the Premier League. La Liga on their own accord, will capacitate us in terms of coaching, club management, principles of grassroots and youth development.

They have pledged their support that our teams can visit Spain for training camps so that they can learn sophisticated ways of training. We as BPL and BFA will send persons to Spain for training and they will come and share their knowledge with others,” he said.



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