Botswana Football Association (BFA) President MacLean Letshwiti has assured football lovers around the country that they have not yet considered cancelling the 2019/20 league seasons due to the covid 29 pandemic, like their counterparts elsewhere.
Botswana Premier league (BPL) and other football activities across the country were put on hold by BFA on March 8th in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 as advised by public health officials.
There haven’t been any official football action in Botswana since March 08th which means that the league is behind schedule by a month which will probably stretch to maximum of 2 months if everything goes according to plan. A number of professional leagues across the world have already cancelled their seasons including France’s league 1 and 2, Netherlands’s Eredivisie league while Belgian was declared finished due to the impact of Coronavirus. This have left other leagues in Europe and Africa with a dilemma and contemplation on what to do next.
Most teams in Europe including Spain, England and Italy have returned to training with the hopes of resuming their domestic leagues next month but experts and doctors have advised otherwise stating that it is unsafe to play football again this season rather wait for next season.
In an interview with The Patriot Sport BFA President Maclean Letshwiti however said they are not under any pressure to cancel nor declare the league finished like other countries, but they will be vigilant on how the situation unfolds.
“First and foremost is to save lives and to compromise on lives of players and staff and therefore we depend on the advice of health authorities whether its safe to play or not. Closer to the season we have choices, we can nullify the league or postpone the league to a later date. The position of FIFA is that decision should only be made depending on the status of the pandemic and in our situation in Botswana we have choices that includes postponing the league up to November/December without affecting our season and these decisions are subject to time,” he said.
He further suggested that it would also be viable to cancel the league or stop where we are and offer the price to the current leaders so that they have enough time to put the house in order in terms of planning and commence the new season next year February.
“There are a lot of options that can be exercised, and we will make the right decision when time is right. We have been talking about a lot of things concerning our football including the quality of the premier league and this might be the right time for professionalism. We have been talking about reducing our clubs from 16 to 12 in order to improve value. This could also be an opportunity to cement on sponsors, enforcing compliance in teams if the league doesn’t continue,” Letshwiti added.
He also said all the operations and preparations for elections will go ahead but wait for the general assembly that will be held when restrictions of gatherings are eased.