Botswana Football Association (BFA) has confirmed that it has taken back the hospitality kit that was given to the national Under 17 side that did duty at the COSAFA Under 17 tournament that was hosted in Mauritius.
According to some parents of the Under 17 national team players, their children’s hospitality kits, which included sneakers, replicas, tracksuits and slides (flip flops) were all taken by the association once the boys hit the home shores.
“When they went to Mauritius, the BFA gave them all the said kits to wear. However, we were surprised that when they got here, all they had to show was some FIFA emblazoned t-shirts and nothing more,” one concerned parent informed Sunday Standard.
“Aside from communicating with us to make affidavits for the boys ahead of the trip, communication from the BFA with the parents has been minimal. We do not get informed of anything pertaining to the young boys,” said one parent.
The parents also said they were in the dark as to the allowances and fees, if any, that were given to the young boys during their stay in the national team camp.
Reached to address the concerns, BFA Public Relations Officer (PRO) Tumo Mpatane said ‘it is standard practice for the association to take back the hospitality kit from players for safe keeping for future use.’
“It is standard practice in BFA that we take such from the players, especially that this will be the same team playing for AUSC Region 5 games in December, hence we needed to keep them,” he added. “We have kept it for them; it will be given to them next games,” he said.
He said due to the current deal with their technical sponsors and other stakeholders such as the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC), which does not afford them as many hospitality kits, the cash strapped association has to do what it can to save monies.
“The BNSC issues hospitality kits to sporting codes just once every two years. We therefore have to use the hospitality kit afforded to us over such a period of time,” he explained.
“When you are a cash strapped organisation, you need measures that will sustain you,” the BFA spokesperson continued.
On what happens should a player find his kit no longer fitting, Mpatane said the kits are then stored and will be used by the next batch of players called for national duty.
On the issue of allowances, the BSA PRO said players were given their training allowances before they departed for Mauritius and competition allowances when they got back home.
“Before the players left for Mauritius, they were given their camp allowances, which is all that is due for them,” Mpatane explained.
“Unlike the senior national teams and the Under 23 national sides, players in the development setups do not have any other allowances aside from camp allowances,” said Mpatane.
“What I can confirm is that the team received their allowances before they left for Mauritius,” he said.