Botswana women’s football on its knees

By Bakang Mhaladi

Gaborone- Botswana women’s football plunged into a fresh crisis this week after the national league was suspended due to insufficient funds.

The league already had a delayed start after referees downed “whistles” owing to unpaid allowances.

Teams are failing to honour fixtures while most players are “volunteers” with the league running without a sponsor since 2012.

But just five games into the new season, the women’s league committee has decided to halt action, citing lacking of funds.

League chairman, Kabelo Moremong said four teams alerted the committee about their dire financial position. But the committee’s further investigations revealed that most teams were in a similar predicament, forcing the suspension of the league.

“Since we do not have a sponsor, the teams are battling with transport and other logistics costs. You might be aware that these (teams) are run by individuals using money from their pockets. Four teams came to alert us about their financial problems, but we discovered most teams were affected. We then as the league committee decided to stop all the activities,” he said.

Moremong said they do not have a time frame when the league would resume but said it might be sooner as the committee had requested for assistance from the Botswana Football Association (BFA).

“I really cannot say when the league would resume. We have written to the national women football committee and we are waiting for their response. We are yet to secure a sponsor hence we have to depend on the association (BFA),” Moremong said.

While the women’s game suffer, their male counterparts are spoilt with sponsorship deals worth P15million ($1.5million) per season.

The BFA has in the past been accused of turning a blind eye to the women’s game and only this week, leading club, Township Rollers women’s team coach, Gaoletho ‘Ronaldo’ Nkutlwisang quit citing lack of pay.

Nkutlwisang reportedly told her club that she cannot continue as a “volunteer” in a league with no financial benefits for both players and officials.

February 2017
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