The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC) would use P70 million to cater for the COVID-19 relief package.
Minister Tumiso Rakgare said the funds are from Department of Sport and Recreation which will assist athletes, while money from Department of Arts and Culture would cater for artists.
He said his ministry would pay P2,500 to players in the Premier League from the 16 clubs and P1,500 to the 24 First Division League clubs.
“We would pay each of the 25 players and other full time employees such as coaches and administrators. The payments are for the months of April, May and June. We know that this is not enough but this is meant to cushion the athletes from the effects of COVID-19. The funds should go straight to the beneficiaries and codes would only assist us by giving us their particulars. We do not want clubs ending up misusing the funds,”
He said other professional athletes from other sporting codes would also benefit from the fund. Rakgare said elite athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have a separate fund that is being administered by the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC). The minister said the allowances are higher than what is being given to other athletes.
Rakgare said they would still ascertain if those who are dependent on sports events should benefit. He said those who feel they should be included in the relief programme should come forward.
Meanwhile, Rakgare said the relief packages are only meant for Batswana players, while foreign players are the responsibility of the clubs. He further said lower divisions would be assisted by Botswana Football Association (BFA) as they received relief funds from FIFA.