The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has warned that clubs that do not comply with the return to play safety rules and regulations will be expelled. The long wait to retun to play will finally come to an end this August, with clubs given a green light to resume pre-season training today (Monday, June 14).
However, clubs across the country are faced with a headache in nterms of complying with regulations in order for them to play under rather unusual circumstances.
“The regulations are as stated, and for you to be able to resume training you have to comply. It will be like the club licensing (exercise).
All the teams that have fully complied will be issued with a certificate that enables them to kick start training. The BFA will do regular checks up and thorough assessment to see if clubs indeed comply with the safe return to play regulations.
Only clubs that have satisfied the requirement will be allowed to play; clubs that do not meet the requirements will not be allowed to resume training, you will not be allowed to play,” BFA regions coordinator, Setete Phuthego said.
Phuthego was echoing remarks by the BFA chief executive officer, Goabaone Taylor. At a media briefing held on Friday at Lekidi Football Centre, Taylor said clubs will be granted a ‘license’ to return to play. She also said in order to gain permission, clubs will need to have a compliance officer to conduct regular COVID-19 tests whilst sporting equipment and facilities will need to be fumigated.
She said all the training activities should be done within a 120 minutes time limit and in enclosed facilities to keep bypassers away from both the playing and support staff.
She further said, in the event where the country might go into a ‘lockdown’, a bio-bubble will be made for the clubs to keep them away from the general public. He also said
“There will be a form that our structures will be given to fill to ensure that they meet standards. We will also through the medical committee upskill our compliance officers so that they will be able to support the compliance process once we resume. They will be in our 17 regions, and will be divided in the COVID-19 zones. The football activity in Botswana is resuming; the BFA declares the 2021/2022 season open. Teams are expected to equip themselves with screening points to ensure prevention and safety,” Taylor said. Only Premiership teams will be allowed to resume their training as of this morning with the First Division, Women’s and Regional leagues’ teams scheduled to start in two weeks.
The 2021/2022-football season will commence in August whilst negotiations are on going with Orange Botswana to have the FA Cup semi finals as a curtain raiser. The 2019/2020 Orange FA Cup was halted at the quarterfinals stage due to the outbreak of the Corona virus. With fans not prohibited at stadiums on match days, the BFA has said they have opened talks with the Departments of Broadcasting Services over a new deal to beam the leagues games live.
BFA return to play
June, 14- Training officially opens
June, 28- First Division, Women and Regional teams start training
July, 12- Youth teams and academies start training
August- 2021/2022 football season start
August- Pre season tournaments kick off with Orange FA cup
September- Regional league and tournaments kick off