FRANCISTOWN: Footballers Union Botswana (FUB) president Onalethata Tshekiso has revealed that plans were afoot to launch a local multi-faceted footballers’ Insurance Fund according to.
For some time FUB and Botswana Football Association (BFA) have been working on efforts to launch the fund meant to support players particularly those who in the elite league and First Division during instances whewre they lose potential future earnings owing to career ending injuries as well as during other times of need.
Some players, particularly those in the Premier League who were forced to retire from the game owing to injuries struggle to make ends meet because clubs did not adequately compensate them, or they were not compensated at all in some instances.
In an interview recently, Tshekiso said such cases of retired or injured players going home empty-handed, will be a thing of the past with the coming into being of the insurance fund soon.
“ I think had it not been for the lockdown that came as a result of COVID- 19, by now we could have launched the insurance fund. Almost everything in relation to launching the fund is in place. We are only left with fine-tuning certain details and logistics. We should be launching the fund soon,” said Tshekiso without committing to the exact date as to when the fund will be launched.
The BFA and FUB will be amongst the main contributors to the fund. Tshekiso further explained that FUB would also
He added, “ COVID-19 has really shown us that there is need for players in the country to have an all-round insurance fund. Players could have been urgently and efficiently assisted in a bid to cushion them against the impact of COVID-19,” Tshekiso said.
Meanwhile, government has pledged to pay premier league and first division players part of their salaries for the month of April, May and June as part of a strategy to help clubs deal with challenges brought by COVID-19. The government recently said that it was still working on modalities to pay the players. The association (BFA) has also assisted all clubs in the country with small grants to cushion them against the impact of the pandemic.
Tshekiso told Monitor Sport that since the COVID-19 outbreak, FUB has assisted players with food parcels amounting to P70, 000.
“We have assisted players from clubs such as Miscellaneous and foreign players with food parcels. We did so with the support of good Samaritans, most notably individuals as well as funds from Fifpro. Raising funds was not easy which is why at FUB we believe that there is need to have an insurance fund specifically devoted to assisting players during times of needy,” Tshekiso explained.