The senior women national team, The Mares, will have to wait a little longer to receive the incentives promised to them for their sterling debut performance at the Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAfcon).
Following the Mares’ heroics, Botswana Football Association (BFA) president MacLean Letshwiti promised the money won by the team will be shared among them. He made the promise during a brunch hosted for the team by President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
President Masisi hosted the Mares as a token of recognition for their good performance in the WAfcon. The President took the moment to also advocate for equal incentives for both women and men in sport.
Now with murmurs arising over the delay in payment of the incentives, BFA spokesperson Carol Kgafela is resolute the team will be given the monies as promised. “The promise still stands. Management is currently working on an awards ceremony to honour The Mares WAFCON team and to present and handover the money,” she says.
The BFA spokesperson also confirms that the money from CAF has long been credited into the BFA accounts. “Yes, it is true that the money has been received by the BFA.”
On how the BFA intends to reward The Mares, Kgafela refused to divulge any details. “That we cannot disclose. However, we will use the standard international practice,” she says.
The BFA spokesperson could however not go into details to explain the specifics of the ‘international standard formula in practice’ which the association will use. She however says the association has used the formula before with the incentive monies from the Lucara Botswana sponsorship.
Kgafela then dismissed as untruths the ongoing allegations that BFA wants to use the proposed incentive monies for other things other than incentives. “This is not true. The money has been allocated strictly for The Mares and will be disbursed accordingly to the ladies,” she stresses.
She says as promised, the association will avail a certain amount to be shared by the players and the technical team. The Mares in their maiden appearance at the continental event were eliminated in the quarter finals.
While Kgafela and the BFA are adamant promises will be fulfilled, for the Mares, they will only believe it when they see the money in their hands. Sunday Standard is reliably informed that some players and technical team members are pessimistic the money will ever reach them.
Their pessimism stems from the association’s perpetual diversion of funds allocated for women football to other activities of the association. They cite close to P5million of FIFA’s annual money for women football development as a case in point.
For now, however, they will hold not hold their breaths. They will rather play wait and see and hope for the best.