The Southern Football Region (SOFA), an affiliate of the Botswana Football Association is yet to commence its 2016/17 league season for lower divisions. The league which was supposed to have started in August or September had to be delayed because of issues with some teams.
SOFA secretary, Thuto Keatweng said they could have wished to start the league on time but due to some challenges they could not.
Instead they had to wait for the mother body, Botswana Football Association to advise on the way forward.
“We had issues with two of our affiliates being Lobatse Stars and Kanye Rising Stars. The duo has failed to pay affiliation fees on time so we had to ask guidance from the mother body,” said Keatweng.
He said they have received the feedback last week Friday and they are ready to start the league soon.
He said the BFA has guided the region to use BFA constitution clause 78.4 which states that The membership of premier league, the first Division (North and South), any regional Association or any club whose subscriptions and /or membership fees remain unpaid after the 10th August in any calendar year shall not lapse and terminate, but the right to play and voting rights shall be suspended forthwith for a season.
He further explained that since they have been guided they are to decide which team will go up and occupy the spot that has been left vacant.
Keatweng said the late start of the league will have impact on the league. “in some weekend we have to play double fixtures so that we cover for the lost time and also it is rainy season we might be delayed further hence we have to do all in our effort to cover up immediate” he observed.
He said there have to cooperate and finish the league on time.
“Every season at the end of the leagues there are playoffs that need to be played and other regions can’t be delayed by us hence we have to catch up and go at the same pace with the rest of the leagues in the country” Keatweng.
He further observed that the delay has impacted negatively on the teams as they had to organize friendly matches amongst themselves to keep players fit.
“The teams spent a lot of money in those friendly matches to keep players fit as they could not just let them rest without game time,” he observed.
Another concern to Keatweng was that majority of the teams are yet to contribute the annual P1 500 towards match officials’ allowances. “Though only small number for teams have contributed he said we are optimistic that the teams will contribute before the leagues starts” Keatweng.
Talking to the SOFA regional secretary, Thuto Keatweng said the region has challenges both administratively and the financial constrains.
At the time of going to print, the BFA had not yet responded to a questionnaire from this publication.