Reigning league champions, Jwaneng Galaxy leads an expected rush to form a women's team following a recent CAF directive. Galaxy said it has begun the process to form a women's team ahead of the 2022-2023 football season.
This is on the back of continental governing body, CAF’s decision to bar men’s teams that do not have a women's team from participating in both the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederations Cup. CAF president, Patrice Motsepe said teams that do not have a women's side in their structures will not be afforded a club license ahead of the next football season.
On Wednesday, Galaxy through their Facebook page, invited aspiring women footballers to register with the club. The club’s public relations officer, Tankiso Morake said the club has begun the player and technical staff recruitment process as they currently work on the facilities and budget for a women's team. “It has been in our strategy to have a women's team but it was unfortunate that we could not start it before (the outbreak of) COVID-19.
The club’s first five-year strategy from 2014 when Galaxy was formed was to attain a Premier League status and be one of the top teams in the league that was the foundation.
On the next strategy when we were talking about, amongst others, commercialisation, there was an idea that we should have a women's team, but all the plans were put to a stop because of COVID-19." “We have assembled a team whose primary role is to oversee this project of forming a women's team. But the questions are do we have the capacity, the structures, what is the budget, who is going to coach the team and who are we going to recruit and how? But as Galaxy, we are looking for players in schools around the area, young players, which we will add at least three senior players to guide them. We are in contact with one of the national team senior players.
We have been engaging and the talks are promising. What is now left is for us to come up with a strategy and budget that will see the formation of the women's team,” Morake said. Only five elite league clubs, Township Rollers, Security Systems, BDF XI, Prisons XI and Gaborone United, have a women's team in their structures.
The rest of the clubs are forced in to a rush to form the women's side in order to have a chance to take part in the CAF interclub competitions in the new season. Galaxy is currently in the group stages of the Champions League for the first time in history. The rush to form women's teams might see existing clubs lose personnel as bigger clubs come knocking. However, the majority of the men’s teams in the Premier League are run on a shoestring budget. Botswana Football Association chief executive officer (CEO), Goabaone Taylor said it was upon the elite clubs to source funds to form women's sides. “The decision has no impact on the manner in which women's football is run. it merely addresses the issue of club licensing requirements.
It will now be compulsory for all clubs in the elite league desiring to take part in the CAF interclub competitions to have a women's football team just as it is mandatory to have a youth team. Club licensing requires clubs to have certain attributes, which are non-negotiable and this is one of them. Botswana Football League (BFL) as a corporate football entity must endeavour to meet the needs of its members including financial independence,” she said. The BFL CEO, Solomon Ramochotlhwane was coy on the matter as he said the league’s hands were tied and they will follow CAF’s directive.