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Football closer to a return

KABELO BORANABI
Ball chasing: The BFA will make an announcement on football return on Wednesday PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Football is inching ever close to a return as the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has given assurances that all the requirements for a return have been satisfied.

The BFA earlier this year announced that league football will return in March, making it a year since a ball was kicked in the local league. Speaking to Mmegi Sport, acting BFA chief executive officer Thabiso Kebotsamang said the initial groundwork is down with both the motherbody and the Botswana Football League (BFL) expected to brief the media on the return dates on Wednesday.

Kebotsamang said the dates and format of the 2020-2021 season would be made public soon. “It has been anticipated that the league will be played in March. But for that to happen we had to engage all the stakeholders.

The stakeholders, in this case, I mean the Ministry (of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development), BNSC (Botswana National Sport Commission), the league committee, the clubs and the FUB (Footballers Union of Botswana). We have sat down with those. We have also developed the playing guidelines to be in line with the BNSC guidelines.

We

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have collected all the information needed, what is left now is to decide on the dates. As of now, I cannot say anything about the format (of play), the dates and other things. We have called a joint press conference with the BFL on Wednesday, that is where you would get the full details on the league return,” Kebotsamang said. Football was suspended last March for what was supposed to be a brief period until April 10, 2020.

Due to the rising coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the country, the season was called off in June as Jwaneng Galaxy were crowned national champions.

Competitive football made a return in November in the promotional playoffs, however, the Orange FA Cup quarterfinals that were scheduled for January did not proceed as initially planned. There had been calls from stakeholders for the league to return. Botswana will join neighbours South Africa and Zambia whose seasons are in full swing.



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