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UP IN THE AIR: Clubs are still awaiting a kick off date

Sports

Uncertainty over football’s return rumbles on

Despite mounting social media speculation hailing the imminent return of local football, the long wait for league action looks set to rumble on.

After 18 months without football, reports that the beautiful game was set to make a stunning comeback this Friday emerged on Facebook last week.

According to a ‘leaked’ fixture list shared by popular pages Killer Pass and Hashtag World Football, the 2021/22 Premier League season will commence with Extension Gunners hosting Township Rollers in Lobatse in a 7pm kick-off.

However, with no official word from the Botswana Football Association (BFA), and 24 September now just four days away, this seems highly unlikely.

Indeed, when Voice Sport reached out to Botswana Football League (BFL) CEO, Solomon Ramochotlhwane, shortly after the rumours broke, he responded simply, “It is still an internal matter, we are still investigating on the issue.”

He would not be drawn into discussing the issue further, nor would he shed any light on a potential start-date for the league.

Domestic football was shown a red card in March last year, when Covid-19 brought all sport to a standstill. The local leagues have remained on the sidelines ever since.

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Although the BFL had initially pencilled in 11 September as a possible return date, this was booted into touch early last month when a rise in Covid-19 cases resulted in sport being suspended once again.

Although this suspension has since been lifted, the BFL’s struggle to secure sponsors for the Premier League means an immediate return looks increasingly improbable. A resumption in the middle of October now seems the best bet.

There was at least some encouraging news for footy fans, especially for followers of Gunners, Notwane, Mogoditshane Fighters, Gilport Lions and Mahalapye Railway Highlanders.

The five sides had seen their licence applications turned down by the BFA and looked in danger of being kicked out of the Premier League before the season even began.

However, the BFA Club Licencing Appeals Committee have since given the clubs a four-month stay-of-execution to get their affairs in order.

BFL CEO: Solomon Ramochotlhwane

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