The heatwave is wreaking havoc on local league matches with authorities considering a shift to evening time. However, the high costs of using floodlights are throwing the spanners in the works as most clubs are financially handicapped.
Responding to Mmegi Sport inquiries, Botswana Football League (BFL) chief executive officer, Solomon Ramochotlhwane said there are considerations to move kick-off times. But evening matches would mean clubs will have to fork out more for floodlights. “The problem is that teams are struggling with the budget for the lights, but we will strike a balance,” he said.
The league remains without a title sponsor and there are reports clubs have not received grants, which leaves them in a precarious position. This week, there were reports, Police XI midfielder, Jomo Moatlhaping collapsed during training, although this was not attributed to the heat. Temperatures rose to between 37 and 42 degrees Celcius across the country this week, as the heatwave hit the region. "Individuals may experience symptoms such as heat cramps, heatstroke, heat exhaustion and severe sunburn, due to the excessive heat.
Individuals experiencing such signs are advised to visit the nearest health facility," Ministry of Health and Wellness spokesperson, Christopher Nyanga said in a statement this week.
He further advised people to cut on alcohol and caffeine, and instead, drink a lot of water. Most local matches start at 4pm when temperatures would still be high. Meanwhile, Ramochotlhwane said they are still pursuing re-introducing the sale of alcohol during match days. “Yes, we are waiting for the lifting of alcohol sales at the stadium. However, there is a requirement for licensed sale of alcohol at the stadium,” he said. The sale of liquor is seen as one way of attracting fans to matches after a lengthy period of inactivity. Ramochotlhwane said the new season, after an 18-month absence, had started well although there are issues of non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols, which is being addressed. “So far, so good.
However, there is laxity in terms of basic compliance like observing common COVID-19 protocols. Teams have been engaged on that,” he said. This is the first time Botswana football has been played under COVID-19 protocols. The league was halted in March 2020 as a way to blunt the spread of the disease.