Botswana Footballers Union (FUB) this past weekend held their ordinary congress in which it was announced that, collaborations with Botswana Football League (BFL) are underway to establish a retirement trust fund for players.
In an era where most of the local football players are earning well over P5 000.00 per month, BFL and FUB officials have underscored the importance of setting up a trust which would positively contribute to the players’ lives after retiring.
While they may earn more than the average person, most players, over the world, generally do not save or invest enough money which often see them struggle shortly after hanging their boots.
The average career span of a football player is eight (8) years, and most will find themselves retired by the age of 35, and it is highly unlikely that their career earnings alone will see them through potentially to 50 years.
“We have agreed with FUB that we are going to establish a retirement fund, and to achieve this and make it a success, we need the contributions of the players. When we talk of retirement fund, we basically are talking about the pension fund. Football career is very short, the fund will allow players to benefit through different investments that we are going to undertake as BFL and FUB, through our
Memorandum of Understanding, when they retire,” BFL Chief Executive Officer, Solomon Ramochotlhwane shared.
The FUB Secretary General, Kgosana Masaseng, confirmed the developments and highlighted that, part of their agreement with the league is that a certain percentage from sponsorship deals of the BFL will go directly to the fund. This has been enclosed in the Memorandum of Understanding that BFL and FUB recently signed.
“Our intensions as an organization that is player centered, is to look for opportunities for the players while they are still playing and after their retirement. In our discussions with the league, we impressed upon them that there is a need to accelerate players’ development programs, which entails; supporting, empowering and creating opportunities for players beyond their playing careers,” Masaseng highlighted.
“A percentage of league sponsorships will go towards that fund. There will also be a charity cup tournament which raises funds towards that fund. Players must have a retirement fund and the league and FUB together with the players will contribute towards that fund,” FUB Secretary General shared.
Process to register the fund is currently underway, all registered members of the association will benefit from the fund and some of them, at least two (2), will form part of the board members of the fund.
Back in 2018, Botswana Premier League (BPL) and Hollard insurance company joined hands to set up a policy which was meant to attend to the health concerns of the elite league players.
Without medical cover and with some teams struggling financially, serious injuries, although manageable, could spell an end to a career.
With this in mind, the BFL CEO also announced that the new developments as a result of their partnership with FUB, will see them set up a medical insurance cover for the players, ahead of the upcoming season.
“We will also, in partnership with FUB, set up a medical insurance for you guys [players], so that you have access to good medical assistance which could help with good recoveries in terms of injuries,” Ramochotlhwane revealed.
Players’ welfare is one of the key interests that FUB are currently advocating for and it is expected that more developments are forthcoming to improve the current situation of football in the country.