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FUB ‘confused’ after cancellation of season

Despair: There will be no 2020/2021 football season PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG.
Following the nullification of the 2020-2021 football season, players have expressed fears over expiring contracts.

On Saturday, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Executive Committee met to declare the 2020-2021 season null and void. The decision comes after numerous false starts to the season that was scheduled to kick off on March 6. The situation was worsened by the new government movement restrictions that halted sporting activities until September.

The players, through the Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB), are seeking to meet with the BFA to discuss their employment terms. Several player contracts are elapsing between May and June and a bleak future lies ahead as there has been no decision on the start of the new football season.

“We wanted to meet up with the BFA to fully understand what they meant and it would be proper to get that meeting done before we can comment because we are confused about it as well.  This is why I say we want to engage them first. You should know that this decision has a bearing on the player contracts. We want to first understand for them what they think about these contracts before any decision is made and this we can only know after we meet with them,” FUB secretary-general, Kgosana Masaseng told Mmegi Sport. The coaches, on the other hand, demanded communication on the resumption of football. Botswana Football Coaches Association (BFCA) president, Nelson Olebile said they accept the decision to nullify the season since under the normal August-May calendar it is

not practical to start and conclude the season. He, however, said coaches are in the dark over the start of the next season despite being a key player in the technical aspect of the game.

“We do not have a choice but accept the decision. We are behind schedule under the normal programme, so it seemed not practical to play. But what we want to know is when will the new season begin.  As coaches we are tasked with assembling and readying for the new season but how are we supposed to draw a programme when we are left in the dark. The public has lost hope in this product, so upon return, it is our task as coaches to produce the football that will draw back the fans and we need to prepare for this. We last played in March (2020) and we need a lengthy pre-season,” he said.

Olebile further expressed concerns over the livelihoods of the coaches following a lengthy period on the sidelines. “I know of coaches who are not in regular contracts with club chairpersons, you will get a call when they want to assemble the team.

It’s a sad reality, some coaches are not even getting paid at the moment. They are distressed emotionally and financially,” he said. There are talks that the next football season will start in August with a mini-tournament set to be played as a curtain-raiser.


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