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BFA is ready to resume play

GABORONE, Botswana – The Botswana Football Association (BFA) this afternoon (Friday) hosted a virtual media briefing where it presented its readiness to return to the pitch. 

The media briefing which was hosted at Lekidi Football Centre in Gaborone was led by the BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone G. Taylor and her team of experts; amongst them Head of Competitions, Setete Phuthego, Medical team, Dr. Lone Bagwasi, BFA Legal eagle, Pako Moakofhi as well as Botswana Football League (BFL) CEO, Solomon Ramochotlhwane.
 
Subsequent to today’s media briefing, the BFL is also expected to roll out their plan to the media next week Tuesday.

BFA PRO Tumo Mpatane directing the media briefing

 
Today’s media session follows the recent publication by the Botswana Government allowing for the resumption of competitive sports after a lull due to the outbreak of COVID-19.  
 
In her remarks, Taylor emphasized that the BFA is ready and raring to return to play, adding that the secretariat has adopted a phased approach where all the BFA structures will be capacitated to speak one language of hygiene, prevention, and prompt recognition.

Botswana Football League (BFL) CEO, Solomon Ramochotlhwane.    

The BFA Return to Play roll-out plan will commence with training sessions by national teams and BFL teams subject to authorization by the Medical Committee from June 14, 2021. However, friendly matches and pre-season tournaments will not be allowed at this phase.
 
BFA is desirous of hosting pre season tournaments but these will be subject to negotiations with sponsors to agree the roll out plan . The 2021/22 season has been declared to start from August 28, 2021 – May 29th, 2022. The BFA indicated that there will be continuous monitoring and evaluation at each phase to ensure compliance.
 
Still under the first phase, Taylor said from June 28, 2021, all First Division leagues, RFA, Women Football will be allowed to resume training. The period, according to the BFA will allow for training of SHE Officers and to allow Regional Leadership to inspect the resources that the clubs have and to check compliance.

BFA Legal eagle, Pako Moakofhi

“We are happy for the recent announcement allowing for competitive sports, particularly football to resume play. The BFA is ready, and all our 17 regions are going to be trained effective 24 June to 3rd July to align accordingly with our Return to play plan. During this time, there will also be an appointment and training of compliance officers,” said Taylor adding that teams are further expected to equip themselves with screening points.
 
She noted that pre-competition medical assessment of not more than 2-weeks prior to competitive football will be compulsory.

One of the journalists, Tshepo Molwane fielding questions to the BFA CEO, Taylor

 
“A 4-6week preparatory training phase is critical ahead of the start of competitive sport. In the 1st 2 weeks, divided training sessions are highly recommended, with teams divided in to four groups of 8 people. Also, ahead of match day, stadiums should be disinfected and fumigated. No spectators will be allowed at stadiums and training grounds,” said Taylor.

The CEO stressed that the host team shall be responsible for all logistics, and where a player or official is infected, all public health protocols will be followed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

BFA CEO Taylor (centre) addressing the media

 
Furthermore, Taylor cautioned that any team which fails to meet the minimum set requirements shall not be allowed to resume play.
 
“CAF and FIFA guidelines to be followed should there be ambiguity and costs to be split between BFA and the teams,” she added.

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BFA GRANTS AMROUCHE LEAVE OF ABSENCE

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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