By Godfrey Mowaneng
For the past two years, women football in Botswana has been under distress. Teams have disbanded, players have stayed away from the game and in some instances leagues have failed to take off.
This state of disrepair has led to some ire levelled at the Botswana Football Association (BFA) for neglecting women football, and rightly so.
Faced with criticism over the declining fortunes of women football in the country, BFA has finally responded, sending an SOS to FIFA to assist.
In response, the world football governing body delegated its Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman to assist and conduct a workshop in Botswana.
Bareman, who is credited with turning around the fortunes of Samoan Football Association, is expected in the country next month for a workshop to be hosted on the 15th and 16th of February.
The New Zealand born administrator was responsible for the overhauling of the financial management and carrying out a strategic rebuilding during her stay as the Samoan Football Association Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and will be expected to set Botswana women football on a way to complete turnaround.
“The workshop comes after we sent a request to FIFA to give us guidance on how to elevate the standard of women football in our country. We are fortunate that upon our request, FIFA saw it fit to delegate their best administrators in the women’s game to conduct a workshop for us,” BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane explained.
The Sunday Standard has established that the key component of the workshop is to ensure that the local football governing body have comprehensive women’s plans in place by 2022.
It also seeks to find ways to increase the number of women participation in the game as well as to put in place marketing strategies to lure sponsors to the women’s game.
The workshop will also address the need of a strategic plan that will assist in growing a solid structure of women football.
Since embarking on her duty at the World football governing body in 2016, Bareman has explored opportunities of bringing more money into the women game as evidenced by the increase in FIFA Women’s World cup prize money.
She is a big advocate for the support of women football financially in all aspects covering players, administrators, officials and opportunities arising from the game.
During her workshop, Bareman is expected to cover issues of investment opportunities surrounding the women’s game and train locals on arising prospects.
In a statement released this week, the BFA revealed that the strategic meeting will assist with a tailor made solution suitable for local women football.
“The strategic meeting will be key towards moving women’s football forward as it will develop a strategy and a structure that will allow full activation of our women’s game,” read the BFA statement.
It further stated that “we believe the meeting will be important in ensuring that all regions are aligned to one common strategy and goal for the women’s game. The purpose of the workshop follows the FIFA reviewed position and strategy to develop women’s football world wide.”
According to Mpatane, the workshop will be attended by BFA women regional leadership as well as some players.