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BTC Premiership clubs have warned their players against taking part in festive season football tournaments.
In what is a trend now turned culture, some elite league football players have made it a habit of playing in the village tournaments, which has at times left them injured or fatigued when the second round of the league resumes.
Premier league clubs have vowed to tighten screws and monitor their players to ensure they get a rest and avoid unnecessary injuries ahead of the league return in January.
Club officials acknowledged that the trend affects their schedule and compromises their standards in the crucial moments of the league season.
Jwaneng Galaxy Chairman Njabulo Gilika spoke against players competing in social and betting tournaments pointing out that those players should understand that they are professionals.
“We will be having a short break this time around and expect players to rest in the few days of the festive season. We take care of our players and they understand that they are professionals. Appropriate action will be taken against those breaching contractual guidelines. League break is meant for players to rest not to engage in other profit making schemes of football,” Gilika told Sunday Standard.
Township Rollers spokesperson Bafana Pheto shared the same sentiments saying contractual obligations will guide their players to stay away from festive season tournaments.
“We cannot afford to nurse injuries incurred from social tournaments. We have a plan and the technical team has a schedule that needs no disturbance from weariness that comes along with social tournaments. Players are expected to rest and return fresh to complete the club’s mission and those that will play during the break will face consequences,” said Pheto.
For his part, Orapa United spokesperson Kabo William advised that festive season tournaments are mostly played under an aggressive atmosphere with high risks of injuries.
“Our players are aware that social tournaments are risky as some do not respect the laws of the game and take it personal in the pitch. Our contracts specify clearly that our players will only represent us as a professional club. It is a challenging matter but we will bring to order any player that may feature in the festive tournaments either by suspension or charging them,” Williams opined.
Commenting on the matter, Footballers Union Botswana (FUB) Head of Legal Puso Motlhabane said professional players are aware of what is expected from them and must refrain from festive season tournaments.
“Contracted players are professionals and are aware that they owe services to clubs they are contracted to. We always advice players through the assistance of our technical committee to behave like professional on and off the pitch. Players train on their own during the festive break following schedule availed to them at respective clubs and there is no need for them to risk playing in games that do not have a future for them,” said Motlhabane.