FALSE START Botswana football lovers disappointed as league is postponed
Local football lovers reacted with shock at the late Wednesday night’s announcement that the start of the 2022/23 premier league season hs been postponed from the weekend of October 22.
Just when people were preparing to go to sleep on Wednesday night, just three days before the anticipated start of the league, the Botswana Football League (BFL) issued a statement saying the league would no longer start as originally planned.
This comes on the backdrop of the BFL assuring fans and stakeholders that the resignation of the football body’s Chief Executive Officer Solomon Ramochotlhwane on October 17 would not affect the start of the league.
The CEO resigned under a cloud, with other media reports actually suggesting that he was forced to resign following problems with a television rights deal. On October 17, the BFL Board Chairman Nicholas Zackhem issued a statement announcing the resignation of the CEO, adding that “an update will be issued through a press release soon, stating the way forward. The Board rest assures everyone that the league will commence on the 22nd October 2022 as previously communicated.”
The assurance has already failed its promise, with another letter purported to be from the BFL CEO stating that the BFL Board of Directors convened on Wednesday and resolved that the scheduled 2022/2023 League be postponed to the 29thof October 2022.
“The postponement is occasioned by numerous factors and the Board took
this decision in order to allow all factors to be in place for a successful and
properly constituted League. Fixtures for the 2022/2023 season have been adopted by the Board and will be circulated in the next 48 hours for all stakeholders. We apologies for the inconvenience caused to the stakeholders,” the latest letter reads.
The football loving public did not take kindly to the words, taking to social media to lambast the leadership of football for failing to get the sport back on track.
Boitshwarelo Weje wrote” “Nnyaa lesang hela once, re tlaa leba Sunday soccer.” Many shared his sentiments through other social media posts, saying it was more fun and fulfilling to watch social football than to waste money with mainstream sport.
Moeti Segadimo suggested: “Why cant we take a break for two years without the league so that we correct all mistakes?” His sentiments were also shared by many who felt a lot still needs to be done to get Botswana football to a state where it can be attractive to satkeholders, especially potential sponsors.
Kgosie Morake wrote: “No wonder go sena yo kgatlhegelang go sponsor mantlwane a le reng ke league.”
Days leading to the start of the league, the former CEO Ramochotlhwane had several times taken to media outlets to assure Batswana that major sponsors would be unveiled, only for another letter to be issued stating that teams would play without a sponsor and that even the previous league had no prize money.
Many are now questioning the wisdom of starting the league when the world over, countries are taking a break from their leagues as focus shifts to the World Cup that begins on November 20 and will run until December 18 in Qatar.