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BFA completes Operation Time For Change

The Botswana Football Association’s (BFA) FIFA approved and funded programme dubbed Administration and Management Course – Operation Time For Change, for the Central and North Regional Football Association (FA) came to a resounding end yesterday (Friday) at Majestic Hotel in Palapye.

The five-day rigorous training which commenced on Monday was aimed at endowing leaders of football clubs to effectually grow football from grassroots level and administer it with indispensable proficiency.

Furthermore, it was intended to achieve a renewal in terms of how football is managed at all levels throughout the country, facilitated by FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting.

Ashford Mamelodi

Some of its objectives include the empowerment of leaders, both Regional Structures and Clubs, on the management of the game; engaging participants on the importance of Stakeholder management, as well as identifying for further training prospective national course instructors in Administration and Management, with a view that once qualified, they will continue to train up and coming Administrators in the Regions on football administration.

Operation Time for Change has impacted all the BFA’s 17 regions, with the just ended one for the Central and North Regional FA being the last one.

When officially closing the weeklong and successful engagement, BFA National Executive Committee (NEC) Board Member, Tico Kamati said the secretariat optimally sees the need to empower its regional structures as this further helps galvanize all efforts by the FA to commercialize local football.

BFA CEO, Goabaone Taylor

Kamati added that when the regional structures become well equiped with modern day techniquesincluding commercial proven methods, the FA will run smoothly and easily turn into a commerciallyviable entity.

“Our mandate as the BFA is to develop football and it has to start from our regions. We are privileged to be one of the first countries to be enrolled by FIFA on this course. We therefore as the FA moved swiftly to include all our stakeholders such as BISA, BOTESSA, BOPSA, FUB and others to enroll in this course to cordially be at par with the drive football needs in order to turn commercial. The project covered all the 17 regions with over 600 delegates and I therefore urge all the participants to share their knowledge with other football administrators so everybody is on the same page knowledge wise. The regions through further recommendation by the consultant, Mamelodi is to further elect regional coordinators who will hold workshops around this course so as to impart knowledge and skills on their peers from time to time,” said Kamati.

Renowned FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting who facilitated the Operation Time for Change training said thejourney to empower regional football leadership began in June 2019, with each region averaging an estimated 600 delegates.

Mamelodi said the course was rich with modules that brought all important aspects that brings up to speed the football coordination set up in the country and further thanked the FA for their well thought out assignment in the regions. He described and likened the regional administrators as pillars that the FA rely on for stability adding that they are crucial to football development as they coordinated all important segments of the game.

BFA NEC member Kamati (right) awarding certificates to one of the participants

“From the delegates who have been empowered, we are hopeful that they will impart the knowledge to others as the FA will depend on the firm regional structure development. We have to prioritize strategic planning, register players through FIFA connect and make an ecosystem that works in football. For every region that we spent 5 days, we are positive that it will be for the goodwill and betterment of football,” said Mamelodi.

One of the participants, Miscellanous Sporting Club Chairperson, Molatedi Tuwane said, “One of the things that I learnt through this course is to digitize all our information. It was well articulated and I am hopeful that our region will adhere and practice the teachings of this course. For our football to be independent we need to start at regional level with proper education and structures,” he concluded. 



Draw for historic 20th edition of the COSAFA Cup set for Thursday 17th June

The draw for the 2021 COSAFA Cup will be staged in host city Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday, June 17 as preparations for the historic 20th edition of the regional showpiece competition kick into gear. The 12-team tournament will take place from July 7-18 and returns after the 2020 edition had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The draw will be live on from 11h00, when the fate of the competing teams will be decided.

And there will be plenty of excitement with the addition of west African powerhouse Senegal to the field this year as they make a guest appearance in what is a landmark tournament for COSAFA. The COSAFA Cup has, over the years, launched the careers of a number of top stars from the region and continues to be a major driver of football development on and off the pitch for not just players, but also coaches, match officials and administrators.

The competition will take on a new format for 2021 with the 12 teams split into three groups each containing four teams. This ensures each side will play a minimum of three matches. The top team in each pool, as well as the best second-placed finisher, will advance to the semifinals. There will be no Plate competition.

Zebras will know their opponents on Thursday ahead of the virtual draw

Senegal is the top-ranked side in Africa and sit at number 22 in the world and will make their debut in COSAFA competition. Guest nations from outside the region have, over the years, provided excellent entertainment and a contrast in styles that makes for fascinating viewing. The other 10 sides confirmed so far are no strangers to the COSAFA Cup and include hosts South Africa, defending champions Zambia and record six-time winners Zimbabwe.

Others to have booked their place are Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia. The 12th team will be confirmed in the coming days with a number of interested parties. Those who are competing in the group stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that start in September will be eager to use the tournament to fine-tune their preparations for a shot at making the finals in Qatar.

The 19 previous editions of the competition have seen some great performances and incredible games that have been written into the folklore of Southern African football, but only five nations can claim to have lifted the coveted trophy. Zimbabwe (six wins) lead the way, followed by Zambia (five), South Africa (four), Angola (three) and Namibia (one).

Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana have all twice been finalists, but ended up on the losing side on both occasions. Lesotho (2000) are the only other team to reach the decider.   

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