Football fans around the country were excited after the government lifted the ban on competitive sporting activities. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has now confirmed the long return of the football season will kick off in August.
Since March 2020, there has been no league action. At the time of the suspension, only 10 rounds of league games were left to be played.
The 2020-2021 football season was to begin earlier this year but following the number of false starts, the campaign was nullified. Speaking to Mmegi Sport this week, Botswana Football Association (BFA) chief executive officer, Goabaone Taylor said the mother body is awaiting guidelines of play from the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) as they seek to return to play in two months.
She assured football would return for the August-May campaign.
“We have always had a tentative plan to start the league in August and the plan is to proceed as such. The BFA season runs from August to May unless directed otherwise by the (BFA) general assembly. (And) as per our regulations, our leagues are played on a home and away basis,” Taylor said. She also said prior to the start of the 2021-2022 campaign, the Orange FA Cup will be played as a curtain-raiser. The FA cup was halted at a quarterfinal stage after the outbreak of the COVID-19 and the BFA and Orange Botswana will start talks to decide on the dates of the competition.
“The remaining Orange FA cup game will be used as a precursor to the 2021-2022 league matches, subject to negotiations with the sponsor to proceed as such,” Taylor said.
She also allayed fears that the local stadia will not be suitable for action upon return. While the BFA is to open discussions on COVID-19 ‘vaccine passports’, “It is our desire (to extend vaccines to clubs), which, unfortunately, is dependant on many factors outside our control,” she said.