- FUB applies pressure on BFA, Letshwiti
- Clubs broke, cannot afford to pay players
- Some players forced into early retirement
Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) is putting pressure on Botswana Football Association (BFA) to provide answers over why it is difficult to bring back competitive football.
FUB supported by teams and players is embarking on a campaign calling on local football mother body to resume competitive football a year after sport was suspended. The BFA suspended competitive football action in March 2020 after the first case of the Covid-19 pandemic were detected in the country, which led to all football leagues being ended prematurely.
In an interview on Friday, FUB Secretary General Kgosana Masaseng said the union’s campaign is to say to the football stakeholders that is a need for the dialogue on issues affecting the game. Masaseng said for a very long time the BFA has not been forthcoming with when football will be back, hence the need to embark on an Online campaign as the players are feeling the pinch.
“We need to find a common space and talk to the issues that affect the game. The campaign has also been born out of the players plan to make a public appeal. The players have been badly affected as they have gone 18 months without being paid as teams are broke,” said Masaseng.
FUB Secretary General said some of the players went to early retirement because they were not given contracts by the teams while others ventured into something different away from football. “We are hoping that the BFA through these various discussions will come to the table and say that once government lift the suspension of the game this what we have in place and that is our interest. If government lift the game ban we want to know if we will be playing a mini league or full league. We want BFA to come out clear on the return to football plan,” said a worried Masaseng.
“In terms of the health protocols we must know what are risks and intervention do we have in place in case the players test positive for Covid-19. We need to put this to the players,” he said.
In addition, Masaseng said they are in the dark whether the BFA have secured the sponsors for the league or the players will be playing for entertainment hence there is a need for a dialogue. He said that FUB should be made aware of the negotiations on sponsorships the reason being that they deal with players contracts hence they need to know how the contracts will be affected.
BFA Public Relations Officer (PRO) Tumo Mpatane was not available for comment at press time.
All eyes are on BFA president McLean Letshwiti over the future of football after he was elected as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Member in Rabat, Morocco last week Friday.
“My win is a victory for our country, the continent and our entire football prospects. Botswana has been playing second fiddle for long and it’s about time we hold our own against the greatest in the world of sport particularly football, “said Letshwiti following his victory into the CAF executive.