It is arguably the most popular sport in the world, and indeed the most popular sport in Botswana. It is the most talked about sport in the World and indeed in the Botswana. With its popularity it remains the sport that brings the most pain to Batswana. Which makes me wonder why we invest so much emotions into a Sport we fail so dismally in.
While other sporting codes bring medals and glory to the country, putting Botswana on the World map, football only brings misery, pain and embarrassment. Despite its popularity, the attention it gets, the resources it has, the exposure it gets, football in Botswana fails to get any glory for the country. Football gets the bulk of attention and resources but is one of those codes that does not bring any marked results.
Over the years, we have dismally failed at all levels. Notwithstanding that, football remains the major attraction and hogs most of the headlines. Once in a while we do get some good results, but that is more of a flash in the pan occurrence. While football miserably fails us; other less talked about, less popular, less publicised sport codes continue to do wonders for the country and bring glory. The less financed codes are the ones that have their houses in order and do get positive results. They are the ones that have their development programmes in place and running like well-oiled machines, with the meagre resources at their disposal.
In Botswana, there are those codes that get the bulk of financial support from the sport bodies as well as from sponsors. Football, being a popular sport does get a chunk, even though it consistently performs badly. I guess it is a case of popularity rather than results. A friend of mine once quipped that maybe we should forget about such sports as football and focus on other sports that are less talked about but doing well.
Sport codes like Netball, Volleyball, Athletics, Rugby, Karate, Softball to name but a few, have done well for the country, bringing in medals. These are the same codes that have their development programmes in order and running, and are seldom in the news for the wrong reasons. Our Volleyball teams dominate Southern Africa and have also conquered Africa. The likes of Isaac Makwala, Nijel Amos and Amantle Montsho have for the past few years done well at the highest world level and there is more athletes coming up the ranks. We cannot say the same about the popular sports like football. While the results are not coming, football is also always in the news for the wrong reasons. Which makes me wonder: why so much noise when results are not coming? I also blame myself.
As posited before, Football is the most popular sport in Botswana and naturally it will attract sponsors and all the headlines, either positive or negative. But should we be so blind to ignore other codes that are actually doing well. If I had the powers, I would ask some of the sponsors to look elsewhere and put money into other codes, where there are better development programmes and we have a better chance of success at international level. We cannot be pumping so much money, time, and energy into a code that is letting us down so much.
One may ask; why not put resources into sport codes that we can atleast win something or have potential for success. Why not put resources into codes that have a clear Vision and have functioning development programmes. It is about time we look elsewhere for success, and forget about sport codes that bring us misery.