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BFL welcomes BFA’s return to play guidelines

GABORONE, Botswana – The Botswana Football League (BFL) has amiably welcomed the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Return to Play guidelines, and further expressed approval in the Secretariat’s phased roll out plan in making sure football safely returns to the pitch after a gloomy lull courtesy of Covid-19.

Addressing the media this afternoon at the Lekidi Football Centre in Gaborone, BFL Chairperson, Aryl Ralebala encouraged clubs to transition from being social, become professional and commercial, so they are in consonant with all club licensing guidelines. Ralebala also used today’s press conference as a fitting dais to usher in and formally introduce the newly appointed BFL Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Solomon Ramochotlhwane to the media.

“We have recruited our new CEO and we are confident of his skills. We have been able to adopt the licensing criteria for the league which we will use in our four-year turnaround, thus making sure we have a standardised financial, technical, and managerial aptitude for all the teams participating in the league. We want every team to submit their financial projections and obligations to make sure that all our clubs are run professionally. This will ensure that clubs are sustainable for the period of the season,” said Ralebala.

The BFL further assured the media that it is working around the clock to secure sponsors for the elite league. This was emphasised by the BFL CEO, Ramochotlhwane who noted that the league will have a title sponsor as they are already in talks with potential sponsors. He highlighted that by the end of July 2021, the league will unveil to the public and stakeholders, a tentative date of when the league will start including other partners.

“We have to relook and change the way we have been running football. At the current moment, and due to the covid-19 pandemic, we are going to negotiate hard on improved broadcasting rights and bring on board solid production partners that will be able to livestream the league matches to our valued fans. It has come to our attention that football fans are worried that without them at the stadia, clubs are likely to suffer financially. However, what I can stress is that for any commercial club or entity to survive, there must be multiple ways to generate income. Among these targeted income streams will be the livestreaming of our matches with various partners,” said Ramochotlhwane.

BFL CEO, Solomon Ramochotlhwane

Ramochotlhwane said being the man at the helm of the BFL, his tenure in office will be guided by three principles: compliance, value creation and strategic direction.

“Compliance is the starting point of any regulation and there should be stipulated guidelines, in our case teams should adhere to club licencing regulations and all the five-criterion agreed by the league shareholders. We are aware that this won’t be an overnight achievement and in as much as we are going to be firm, we would also be reasonable to the clubs.”

“The BFA has defined the return to play guidelines, and we are carrying them out as they are. We are also aware that players have been training on their own and we trust that clubs will bring programs that are fully monitored and in line with the health protocols,” he added.

Ramochotlhwane added that the BFL will announce the commencement of the league in due course as the announcement on the return to play was just realised and therefore there is need to agree with other stakeholders.

“We are yet to announce the start of the league as we have just been given the green light by the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC), relayed subsequently through our mother body, the BFA.”

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GABORONE, Botswana – Following the request by Senior National Team Coach, Adel Amrouche for leave of absence to attend to a personal matter, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) wishes to inform the public that he has been granted the leave with immediate effect.

Since the COSAFA tournament is the last competitive tournament for the Zebras in the immediate future, the BFA amicably resolved to release Amrouche. The affairs of the National team in preparation for the tournament, set to take place in Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa from 7-18 July 2021 shall be handed over to Letang Kgengwenyane.

“The BFA understands and supports Mr. Amrouche’s situation and wishes him all the best in his future endeavours,” said BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone G. Taylor.

Amrouche took over as the Zebras head coach in August 2019 on a two-year deal. After weeks of engaging with the coach over his future, an agreement was reached not to extend his contract.

Adel Amrouche

“Amrouche has been Zebras head coach since August 2019, and his leadership during that time was important to our successful development and international exposure of our players,” added Taylor.

“We appreciate all that Amrouche has done to build a disciplined team. He has always had a thorough understanding of what it takes to be a successful team and has done his best to mentor his players accordingly,” concluded Taylor.

Amrouche has since expressed gratitude towards the BFA for the opportunity.
“I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to lead the Zebras over the last two years. I leave having picked up quite a number of valuable lessons that will be necessary in the journey ahead. I wish the Zebras success in future competitions,” Amrouche said in statement recently.

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