From what just started as WhatsApp group in 2017, the Manchester United Supporters Club Botswana (MUSCB) has four years later been recognised by the club.
“We thank you for recent application.
“I am pleased to confirm that in accordance with the attached aCharter, your group is now recognised as an Official Manchester United Supporters’ Club (MUSC). It is always nice to welcome fans from all over the world into the network, congratulations,” reads an email from the Red Devils sent to MUSCB chairperson, Geoffrey Mothooagae on January 28 2021.
The message confirmed the group as the club’s official supporters outfit putting an end to a gruelling application process whilst making history as the first local supporters’ club to affiliate to an European club.
The supporters have also been finally registered with the Registrar of Societies after having been restricted from using the ‘Manchester United’ tag to their group name. MUSCB joins over 200 Man United supporters’ clubs across the world.
“This means a lot to the club. For instance the Registrar Of Societies in Botswana did not allow us to use the full name Manchester United Supporters Club Botswana, but rather a shortened version of it, prior to being authorised by the team. We now are free and fully legitimised to do so.
Beyond this, our members can take pride in being one of the few supporters club in the country, if ever there are any, recognised by the mother bodies in the United Kingdom,” said Mothooagae
“Our understanding is that many of them, whom we continually banter with in various football forums, are still struggling to do so. We however are available to assist where we can, as ultimately it is in their best interests and indeed ours that they reach such esteemed status as well,” Mothooagae told Monitor Sport. He said the MUSCB appreciates the football relationship between Botswana and England. He also said they are itching to go and sell the local culture in Europe whilst they are open for partnerships with local
“I think you will realise that minus Covid restrictions, the vibey football culture is always on full display. I think it is important to realise that this is borne from a culture of fans fully participating in the affairs of their club emanating mainly from the passion and loyalty to club.
The same culture, though dynamics may vary, can be replicated here in one form or the other.
Teams have to professionalise and benchmark on best practices, which attract fans and cement their loyalty. Getting basics right, like creating an enabling environment which can incentivise an average supporter to leave the comfort of their home and attend a football game at the National Stadium, is just one things coming to mind, amongst many.”
“But also for us as a Supporters’ club, we are looking at models which can be inclusive of local football support thereby encourage such in the process. It should not be far-fetched to have The Notwane FC (or any club for that matter), supporters within the MUSB grouping, who can drive mandates of their football clubs under our umbrella,” Mothooagae said.
The MUSCB in its four year’sexistence has been engaged in charity work with organisations such Childline Botswana, Tsholofelong Children & Youth Trust and in the economically deprived location of Old Naledi and most recently, The Kagisanong Centre for Gender-Based Violence. Mothooagae also said there is catch to joining the club as they are currently in negotiations with the private sector to give its members incentives.
“We also have started reaching out to corporate, engaging them on the value of working with us given our leverage by way of numbers and brand affiliation, towards certain benefits/discounts to our card carrying members. It will soon be quite beneficial in many respects to be officially registered as a Manchester United Supporter here in Botswana.”