Wednesday, June 29, 2022

CAF league: A tall order for Botswana women football clubs

The participation of Botswana Women’s football clubs at the inaugural CAF Women’s club championship League is in doubt.

Almost all of the local women football teams are said to find the requirements to participate very demanding as most of them do not have what is needed to meet the criterion. Teams willing to compete in the CAF club tournament are expected to apply to Botswana Football Association (BFA) for assessment and for licensing. With the men’s elite premier league teams still failing to meet the set standard requirements, common belief is that it will be a miracle for women clubs to meet them.

According to a circular dated 11th April and sent to members by the BFA, women teams wishing to participate should ‘undergo licensing as directed by CAF.’

‘Amongst others, clubs are required to have licensed coaches. Head coach should possess CAF “A” or “B” while assistant coach should have a CAF “A” “B” or “C” licenses,” the circular reads.

It continues to state that clubs are also expected ‘to meet club licensing requirements as captured in the CAF club licensing manual.’ This would mean that any women’s team that harbours an ambition to represent Botswana must have a Chief Executive Officer or General Manager, Medical Doctor and a Physiotherapist. The team must also have bank account, registration certificate and club constitution.

The club that is willing to represent the country in the continental club showpiece is expected to have training agreement with facility owners that is training ground or playing ground. The team must possess the lease agreement contract.

There is however a fear that most of the teams do not have that as they train in open public grounds or school grounds and do not have formal agreements, save for verbal agreement.

Meanwhile, the BFA has somersaulted on its initial stand that Botswana’s representative in the CAF championship league would be decided during the national Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) sponsored National championships.

The championships were expected to be contested for by all the women regional league champions. The winner of the national DTCB tournament was expected to automatically qualify to represent the country in the continental women championships.

“Due to time constraints and leagues finishing end of May 2022, the BFA has resolved that each team through their region willing to participate in the CAF women club championship may apply to the BFA head of competitions department with all requested requirements for verification and compliance purposes,” a recent circular dated 11th May 2022 from the BFA directed.

According to the circular which is signed by BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo, interested clubs ‘should meet all requirements for club licensing.’ “Clubs desiring to participate in the CAF women’s champions’ league should be financially capable. BFA will not be able to assist with funding the expenditure for participating in the tournament,” Mfolo explained in the circular.

The stance by BFA not to assist is a polar opposite of what happened with Double Action last year when it represented the country in the regional COSAFA club championship.

At the time, the BFA came on board to assist the club financially. Before Double Action went on to represent the country, Prisons XI had earlier shown interest to participate but could failed due to the steep budget needed.

The deadline for registration is the 31st May 2022.

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