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Rakgare Announces Return Of Sport

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
Rakgare Announces Return Of Sport
The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare on Friday announced the lifting of sports and recreational restrictions across the country.

The restrictions have been in place since April following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world.

Rakgare on Friday said sporting activities could now return provided strict COVID-19 protocols are followed.

He also said in all sporting activities, there shall not be more than 50 people in attendance.

The announcement paves way for football teams particularly to start their preparations and training sessions for the next season. 

There has been a lot of uncertainty as to when the football season would commence. Football authorities have always said they were waiting on the guidance of the health authorities on when they can get on with their business.

Premier League clubs have also been reluctant to commit to anything without knowing what the future holds for football. Other teams decided to freeze players’ contracts until they were assured of when football will return.

Following the announcement of the lifting of the restrictions, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) also announced that the transfer window will open on December 1.

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With no income coming in for clubs, there has been no activity in the transfer market despite the fact that many players have become free agents. Clubs have been reluctant to make any new signings as that would mean they would have to start paying those players immediately.

The lifting of restrictions is expected to boost Zebras preparations for their next Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Zambia in November.

Rakgare said the 50 people limit therefore means any sporting activity should not have any supporters or spectators. He said the current arrangement would help teams deal with the fitness challenges faced by their players during the lockdowns.

He added that the association has given him an indication that the competitive leagues will only return early next year.

Other sporting activities, which are usually termed non-contact sport like Table Tennis in particular has already hosted several tournaments. He also lifted social sporting activities but warned that should take place under strict regulations.



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