The Botswana Football Association (BFA) is playing dumb to the reports that local football clubs have once again failed to satisfy and comply with the Botswana Football Association (BFA) club licensing manual, which could see them outside Botswana Football League (BFL) in the upcoming season.
Reliable sources close to the developments at Lekidi Football Center have told this publication that, with less than a month to go before the start of the season, at least four BFL sides, have failed the litmus test to satisfy club licensing manual, which is a ticket to compete in the local top tier league.
The First Instance Body (FIB), a body under the BFA responsible for issuing club licenses are apparently still adjudicating over the submissions made by the local clubs, and early indications are that the said teams have not met the set standards.
Contacted for comment, BFA’s Club Licensing Manager, Olebile Sikwane, who also closely works with the FIB, refuted the allegations and maintained that he was not aware of such developments.
“The FIB is currently at adjudication stage, I have not received any outcome as we speak. Even then, the outcome of that information is communicated to the clubs before anyone, and that will be done by BFA CEO, Mfolo Mfolo,” Sikwane shared.
Sikwane reiterated that FIB are a body that upholds high professional practice, adding that any other information floating around is nothing close to the truth.
The four clubs mentioned include; Morupule Wanderers, Extension Gunners, Mogoditshane Fighters and the newly promoted Eleven Angels.
The team officials have not been notified yet but BG Sport has it on good authority that they should brace themselves for the sad news before long.
Last year, Notwane, Extension Gunners, Mahalapye Railway Highlanders, Gilport Lions and Mogoditshane Fighters reportedly failed to clear the licensing hurdle but were successful in their appeals, subsequently getting a pardon from the BFA’s Appeals Body.
The pardoning of the teams’ was also heavily informed by the fact that the clubs were still recovering from the harsh effects of coronavirus pandemic and suspending them for failure to comply was seen as unjust by some highly placed football officials.
For Extension Gunners and Mogoditshane Fighters, this is a familiar terrain, last years’ failures to satisfy compliance manual were mainly due to debts owed to former coaches & players and unaudited finances.
The local football governing mother-body has previously issued a stern warning to the teams emphasizing that serious actions will be applied to the clubs which will fail compliance.
Amongst some of the requirements, clubs are expected to show compliance in all terms of sporting, administrative, financial, medical, legal and infrastructure standards. Club licensing was introduced to accelerate professionalism in African football as well as to promote transparency in the finances, ownership and control of clubs. To be considered compliant under the sporting criteria, clubs are expected to have vibrant youth development programmes as well as youth development teams.
The recent growth of women football in Africa is also catalyzed by the fact that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have mandated the clubs competing in the champions’ league to have women football sides as well.
The BFA have also authorized that the BFL sides must have women football teams as part of their compliance in the club licensing requirements.