Tuesday, June 2, 2020

BFA keen to see football season played to conclusion

Botswana Football Association (BFA) is keen to see the 2019/20 football season played to a conclusion.

The association made this desire known in a letter of response to the Confederation of African Football (CAF).  

With some leagues across the world cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, CAF had sught to know from its members their plans for the current football season.

In their letters to the football associations on the continent, CAF requested to know whether they wanted ‘to cancel or continue with their current domestic seasons.’

The continental motherbody was said to have set the 5th May 2020 as a dedadline for associations to made known their decisions.

CAF’s ther request was for ‘a detailed strategy of each football associations’ with regards to league and cup competitions.

Reached for comment, BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo confirmed that the association had indeed written to CAF indicating their intention to complete the season. 

He however said as they are guided by the State of Emergency (SoE) regulations, they have indicated to the African football mother body the league will resume after consultations with other stakeholders.  

“We are continuously monitoring the situation and highly desire to complete the season,’’ said Mfolo.

“We are still following strict measures put in place to fight the covid 19 pandemic and positive that it will come to an end. With about ten weeks to play in the league and the FA cup in the quarter final stage there is still a lot to play for,” he said.

Asked to confirm whether the BFA would indeed use the delays as a catalyst to change the local football season, Mfolo said there is a chance of that happening.

The BFA CEO said the association is seriously considering a suggestion by the FIFA medical team that it is advisable for Sub Saharan nations to reschedule their league seasons from February to November.

He indicated that the delay in the conclusion of the league may as well be an opportunity for them to return to reschedule the league as per the said guidance. 

“we might as take this opportunity to finish the league later in the year and start a new season on February as advised by the medical team,’’ said Mfolo.

While the BFA CEO did not disclose when the league might resume or end, sources indicate that theassociation is contemplating a return to football sometimes in July.

The source hwever said everything will depend on the status of the covid 19 pandemic in the country. 

While BFA insists it is contemplating a change of the football season, the source indicated a decision has already been taken.

“The BFA took a decision to amend the league season from the August to May and shifting to the February to November season as has been advised by FIFA in the past for Sub Saharan nations,” the source said.

“It is anticipated that teams will start training in July and the league will resume in August and end in November to accommodate conclusion of both the league and the FA cup,’’ the source concluded.

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