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Players pursue degrees amid uncertainty

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
Education first: Leinanyane is one of the players who have enrolled for a degree programme PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
With the future of many football players looking bleak due to a prolonged break brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) has taken a bold step to provide alternatives for players.

The local players’ union has secured scholarships for five players, Thabo Leinanyane, Kabelo Maphakela, Kamogelo Molemogi, Thongbotho Mogatle and Arnold Mampori to study different programmes at Botho University.

Maphakela, who plays for Township Rollers will study Bachelor of Sciences (BSc) in Network Security and Computer Forensics. Jwaneng Galaxy’s right back, Leinanyane will study BSc in Business Management while Mogatle will enrol in Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) in Primary Education. Molemogi and Mampori on the other hand will study Master of Business Administration and BSc in Finance respectively.  The scholarships are part of FUB’s commitment to securing the players’ future beyond their playing days.

Following a prolonged absence of football activities in the country, FUB has publicly expressed its misgivings about the way the situation has been handled, especially with the welfare of players concerned.

Speaking to Mmegi Sport recently, FUB secretary, Kgosana Masaseng said players are one of the main sources of the industry’s prosperity and must be provided with fair work to ensure that the game survives going forward.  He also spoke of how the FUB has forged partnerships with Botho University and that they were constantly engaging players to solicit ideas on what could be done should there be no football.

“We signed a five-year

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agreement with Botho University and have been trying to use this period to get players to take up scholarship opportunities in order to prepare for life after football.

We have also created a business directory for players that are in businesses and are constantly being assisted to reach the market for their products.

We do not want to believe that it is too late for them to look for alternatives. Our treasurer is also helping some with business proposals and because it is a new thing,” Masaseng told Mmegi Sport two months ago.

Masaseng also recently laid bare the players’ struggles following the continued suspension of football activities in the country.

He said the FUB is currently dealing with varying issues from broken families, shattered dreams to getting support systems for their members.

“The situation is so bad that we have lost several players as some have gone into early retirement. Some marriages have broken down, some relationships have ended as a result of this crisis we are facing today.

This is why we put emphasis on developing a solid psychosocial system way before we even get back to playing football. We need to speak to the minds of these players who feel helpless,” he said.



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