League start date uncertain

Ball players: The league’s return has not been confirmed PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Ball players: The league’s return has not been confirmed PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

The Botswana Football League (BFL) will meet and decide the new dates of the start of the Premiership, chief executive officer (CEO), Solomon Ramochothwane has said.

Earlier this week, the government and the Botswana Football Association (BFA) issued statements confirming the resumption of activities after a three-week break. “We will give a press release on the development as soon as we are ready. Lifting of suspension was only done yesterday (Tuesday) and preparatory meetings are underway and communication will be shared,” Ramochotlhwane said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Gaborone United (GU) director, Nicholas Zakhem had said clubs received communication from the BFL that the league will resume on September 24, 2021. Zakhem, who is also a director in the recently formed BFL, said after more than a year and a half of no league football, it is impractical for the league to resume in two weeks' time. He said it will take a recovery period of at least six weeks to get the players ready for competitive action after a couple of false starts.

"We received an email from the BFL. It says on September 24 we will start the official games. So take that period from today (September 7) to September 24 that is 17 days on the line and anyone who knows football will tell you that it is impossible after 18 months of no play. So, you are telling me that on September 24 we will start the league! They are fooling each other, they are fooling us and they are fooling the supporters! They are undermining your intelligence and they are undermining your integrity. Football cannot start, no player will be ready to play football after a layoff of close to 20 months,” Zakhem said during a press conference. He further indicated that the lack of a title sponsor for the league would make it impossible to resume in the immediate future.

"To this moment in time, there is no league sponsorship. I can tell you that. We have a resolution we had agreed in a meeting in November that the league would not start without P15 million (sponsorship) in advance. If we need to start we need to have secured P15 million or we need another meeting to amend the resolution and we need at least 66% of the directors to be in the deciding meeting,” Zakhem said.

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