The Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB),has reiterated its stance that the current status of football in the country could have been avoided.
The players’ union has been vocal about what it regards as lack of commitment from the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to return to play. Local football has been inactive for more than 400 days since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and the association recently announced that the 2020/2021 football season has been nullified.
During his Friday interview on the Freshly Signed podcast, FUB vice president, Lesego Molemogi said the BFA is still reluctant to meet with the union to map the way forward on the current crisis. In the interview, Molemogi said even last week they were made to wait at the BFA offices over an arranged meeting which never took place.
He stated that for quite sometime, they have proposed to meet with the BFA leadership to try and find ways on how the issues affecting football players can be resolved to no avail. “We really need that meeting to take place.
We have done everything we could to get their attention but they still avoided us. We hope they find time to meet because it is not about us but football,” he said. Molemogi also said they have not exercised the rights to legally force the association to meet since the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that they signed with the BFA has expired. He said one of the reasons why they want to meet with the association’s leadership is for the two bodies to
He said there seems to be no commitment from the football authorities to see to it that the current situation can be dealt with. He said the players, who are hard hit by the prolonged absence of any football activity are currently living in poverty. He also said many of the players had left their home villages in search for better football careers in the city since many of the big guns reside in Gaborone.
He said many of those players have since returned home with nothing to offer their families since their clubs can no longer afford to pay them.
Molemogi further said the current situation extends to the ‘culture’ in the country where football has never been viewed as a career. He said even politicians have not made a case for football during their debates but want to use football when it suits their agenda.
“They only go around splashing money on football tournaments when they are campaigning for seats in parliament. They know that football can be a great tool for them to go to parliament. It is good for their political careers. That is the problem in our country.
Football is never taken seriously in our country,” he said. Meanwhile, the BFA announced through a statement, that they held a virtual meeting last week with the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) to discuss the return to play plan.