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A football dilemma

A football dilemma

BFA gives clubs a rope to hang themselves

In a explosive administrative decision, Botswana Football Association leadership has ordered first division and premier league clubs to decide their own fate with regards to the conclusion of the two respective league seasons.

In a letter sent to all the clubs, the BFA Chief Executive Officer Mfolo Mfolo has literally asked teams to chose between a rock and a hard place in an effort to bring to conclusion the 2019/20 football season.

Teams were ordered to tick one of the three available options and submit the completed form no later than Wednesday 3rd June.

Mfolo states in the communique that a decision on how to bring all leagues to their conclusion has to be taken.

When both leagues were suspended following the Covid-19 outbreak, the Debswana first division league was left with only four matches, while the BTC Premier League was left with 10 weeks to come to conclusion.

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In a move that has been welcomed with mixed reactions, BFA has asked teams to seal their own league statuses by ticking on the three availed boxes.

The three options are; whether to extend the league period and complete the remaining fixtures, or declare the current season complete with the league tables as is with effect that the team at the summit will be crowned champions and the bottoms teams will relegate, and the last option being to declare the season null and void with no champions and no relegation.

Clubs are expected to tick either of the three boxes and submit to the mother body.

In an interview with Voice Sport on Wednesday, Mfolo said this was a consultative matter hence teams have to meet the deadline.

“Teams are supposed to respond on the said deadline, if they don’t, they’d have missed out on the opportunity to contribute, and the association will move forward with the information submitted by other clubs,” the BFA CEO said.

“Some teams have already responded and there is still time, I believe we will find responses tomorrow (Thursday) when we report for office,” Mfolo said.

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Resumption of the league after the Covid-19 scare has been a hotly debated topic across the world’s football leagues.

In Germany the league returned to action a fortnight ago, albeit with no fans in stadiums.

However, a pattern has developed in many leagues, which has seen smaller teams with no financial muscle coming together to ensure they won’t be victims of the new Covid-19 decisions applied by their respective football associations.

In the BTC Premier League, teams like Tafic, Miscellaneous and Molepolole City will probably want the league to be declared null and void, a decision which will preserve their premier league status.

However for a table topping Jwaneng Galaxy, ending the season now will see them lifting their first ever Premier League Championship.

On the other hand, Gaborone United, Security Systems, Orapa United and Township Rollers who’re hot on the heels of the log leaders will definitely tick the first box to keep their dream of winning the league alive.

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Teams have been literally given a rope to hang themselves.

“I’m not going to sign that rubbish,” quipped Chairperson of a Francistown based team.

“How do you just tick a box. We don’t even know how the executive arrived at those three options,” he said.

The chairperson said there’re other options which include increasing league teams, and freezing relegation.

Voice Sport also reached out to Jwaneng Galaxy, who can be crowned Champions, or could be denied their championship with a simple stroke of a pen.

“I don’t know anything about the letter, if it is there the commitee is yet to meet and decide on it,” said Jwaneng Galaxy Public Relations Officer Tankiso Morake.

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Masitaoka Football Club gaffer Nelson Olebile whose is currently leading the first division south log, and in line for automatic promotion to the premier league sounded almost irritable when asked about the letter.

Mmasitaoka, just like their counterparts in the northern sides Sua Flamingoes and Nico United will pay the ultimate prize should the leagues be nullified.

“My duty is to bring results, anything to do with some letter should be handled by the PRO,” an irritated Olebile said.

This is a double edged sword, and whatever decision is taken by the majority, there’s bound to be many casualties, and the longer the wait timer to bring league to conclusion will slowly tick away.

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