Women’s league falls through BFA cracks

Neo Masanako
Monday, 10 April 2017
Women’s league falls through BFA cracks

A  dark cloud continues to hover over women’s football league. The league is currently halted and details are still hazy as to who   accounts for this atrocity.
In fact the current Botswana Football Association  (BFA) president Mclean Letshwiti used the advancement of   women football and development structures as part of his campaign. Moreover, the women’s league continues to be shrouded in controversies while both the BFA and the Women National Executive Committee watch indifferently.

 A few years ago when the women league was introduced, many applauded the initiative as it was seen as a positive move towards sports development that will enable active women participation in football.However, all efforts directed towards ensuring that women football is functional seem to be hitting a snag. The situation is worrisome and does not show any signs of improvement in future. Early this year, the women super league suffered a blow when the league was called to an abrupt stop due towhat was said to be financial constraints weighing heavily on the league. Women league Vice Chairperson Otukile Moruakgomo, says four teams have written to say that they cannot continue with the league due to insufficient funds.

The committee then summoned all other participating teams and realised that the situation was affecting all teams. It was then resolved that the league be suspended indefinitely. The teams are said to have requested at the time to engage the Women National Executive Committee (NEC) on the matter but to date the issue is still pending.
On behalf of BFA, Tumo Mpatane the Association’s spokesperson said the women league representatives have failed to provide them with a full report as to why the league is currently not running. “We do not have a full understanding of what is happening, we have asked for a report from the chairperson of the women’s league,” Mpatane said.

When brought to speed about reports that the league was financially constrained, Mpatane explained that the women league was running without a sponsor and did not receive any grant from FIFA either. He noted that women football league structures did not conform to those of FIFA and thus, they are not able to receive grants from the international football governing body.
Nevertheless, he has assured that they are working around the clock to ensure that women football structures conform to FIFA’s rules and regulations. He also promised that the intention is to have the league running again next season. Additionally, the matter has hit hard on local teams and some of them have now begun pointing fingers while others remain hopeless.

The situation has seen players abstain from the game for quite some time now while others are still in nail biting situations to try and survive the hard times. Should this matter remain unattended, the women national team will also be affected in the process. Efforts to communicate with the Women NEC all proved futile before going to print.

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