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The big bounce back

The big bounce back
FILE PIC: Mascom Top 8 game

BFA seek UEFA assistance for football’s return

In their effort to get back to action after six months of inactivity, Botswana Football Association (BFA) is working with UEFA Assist on an initiative called Bounceback.

Speaking in an online Press Briefing on Wednesday afternoon, BFA President, Maclean Letshwiti said this is an exceedingly difficult time where football has been globally challenged.

He said the Coronavirus has hit football in a very painful way.

However, he stressed that whilst these are indeed challenging times, people cannot forget that football brings hope.

“The BFA has been very happy to work with UEFA Assist and the aim has been to develop an action plan to help us recover from the impact of Covid-19 and prioritize our action going forward. We need to consider players safety, health and fitness first. Whatever we do, the safety and security of the people of Botswana must come first. We will work closely with our Ministry of Sports to ensure the appropriate guidelines and protocols are followed.

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“Whilst we might not be able to return to competition quickly we will engage with players, coaches and clubs. We will ensure that they are working individually to keep fit and practice their skills,” said Letshwiti.

He went on to say communication is critical in a crisis and they will work to communicate regularly with their stakeholders, including the media to ensure, there is one message about their plans for the future.

Letshwiti said they have created an action plan with UEFA Assist and have set up a Covid-19 Task Force which will be chaired by Dr Carolin Braun.

The big bounce back

GRATEFUL: Dr Braun

He explained this will be the driving force behind their discussions, decisions and recommendations for football recovery in Botswana.

The President said in his four years of experience, he realised the reason Africa football is stagnant is that the focus is mostly on the field rather than off the pitch.

Letshwiti noted federations are not doing well in administration, finances and communication. He stressed the importance of managing sponsors and other stakeholders because they need to know where the federation is going and what they want to achieve.

Meanwhile, the Task Force Chairperson, Dr Braun revealed their first meeting as the committee was this Tuesday.

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She said though the Minister has allowed contact sport to return, the medical team is still working on the guidelines which elaborate on the protocols to be followed.

She said as soon as the regulations are released and teams are able to comply they will be allowed to start training.

“We need to be fully prepared before we start competitions. In the meantime, we are working on new ideas to survive the new normal and bounce back. We will utilize this break to do other things like capacity building for our players, coaches and physical trainers. This is a dynamic situation and regulations keeps on changing. We have been given six months to implement our mandate but it will depend on how COVID goes,” said Braun.

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