• Association to embark on public education
Botswana Football Association (BFA) has expressed concern over recurring pitch invasions by the supporters at the end of football games. This comes after local supporters invaded the pitch on Saturday afternoon after the Zebras/Burkina Faso game at the Francistown stadium.
The Zebras’ one goal win over the Stallions of Burkina Faso sent supporters wild with excitement into the field of play in celebrations. Even though the happy crowd caused commotion they were quick to clear the ground when instructed to do so.
However, BFA Chief Executive Officer Kitso Kemoeng said what happened in Francistown is totally uncalled for. Kemoeng said the incident could be a great disadvantage to local football as it is not permissible by both the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the world football governing body FIFA. “What happened in Francistown is very unfortunate and is not permissible by the football governing bodies CAF and FIFA. This can bring us punishment from the world football governing body,” said Kemoeng.
Even though he could not say what type of punishment can befall local football he said the punishment differs. The CEO said he will have to ascertain the punishments first. Kemoeng said it is worrisome because it looks like the pitch invasion incidents are becoming habitual. “This is needs to be addressed as it is not the first time such incident happens. It is unfortunate that we have not yet done enough public education on this matter,” he pointed out.
He said going forward BFA will engage on public education for Batswana to prevent the same thing from happening again in future. Kemoeng went on to urge Batswana to always desist from running into the pitches to celebrate as it can cost local football. “FIFA is very serious about this and this should be stopped”.
Meanwhile Kemoeng pointed out that the association is very impressed with the overall positive reception the team got from Francistown. One would wonder if this means Batswana will see more of Zebras game taken to the new Francistown Stadium. Kemoeng confirmed this saying definitely more games will follow in the north. “Definitely we will be going back there sooner than later,” he said.
In Francistown the Zebras receive great support as the people thronged the stadium. Playing under a fully packed stadium Peter Butler’s charges displayed a sterling performance to outclass Burkina Faso 1-nil in a quest for a spot at the AFCON 2017. The Zebras earned the match needed three points to keep their chances of qualification alive.