The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has withdrawn the Under-20 women national team from the World Cup qualifiers after it was thumped 7-1. Botswana was to play the second leg in Nairobi on August 5.
BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane confirmed the team’s withdrawal from the competition. “The BFA regrets the announcement to withdraw its U-20 women national team from the ongoing qualifications of the Women World Cup with immediate effect. The team will not travel to Kenya for the return leg scheduled to take place on August 5, 2017 Nairobi” Mpatane.
According to Mpatane, the association has financial constraints hence is unable to continue with the participation in the tournament.
He said the decision by BFA to withdraw the team was in the best interest of the reputation of the country and the game locally. It’s honourable to accept the situation we are in but it will improve
Asked if the BFA did not have hope on the team going forward in the qualifiers, he said: “We have strong sense of hope in the team and all our teams; it is just unfortunate we are in the position explained above,” Mpatane
Is the BFA ready to pay the penalty? “BFA is aware that this could possibly come with a remedial action, however the decision lies with CAF on what they will find fit as a penalty. We cannot preempt the penalty at this point but there has been monetary fines for such actions in the past from CAF,” Mpatane said.
Though the BFA has national women football teams, over 70 percent of the BFA regions does not have women football or women leagues. Mpatane wondered why the BFA participated in bigger tournaments when they don’t have domestic leagues for women.
“It is unfortunate that women’s leagues weren’t played last season, however in the 2017-18 season leagues will be played at regional level as per the decision of the Women’s Annual General Assembly.”
Mpatane further explained that in their effort to make sure women football is active across the country teams have been urged to affiliate to the regions to allow them to compete at the regional leagues.
“Moreover registration and affiliation for these teams is free to spread growth of the woman’s participation in the game. This regionalisation of the woman’s game will give regular action and structure to the woman’s game, which is important for progress,” said an optimistic Mpatane.