Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) has condemned professional players who play at social tournaments during festive season. FUB spokesperson Kgosana Masaseng said should such players be punished or disciplined for this the union will not stand in for them. Masaseng said even though the matter is contractual between the players and their clubs, the union does not condone this. “We always advice our members not to take part in the social tournaments unless only if they have sort permission from their clubs,” he said. Masaseng warned that by taking part in these tournaments the players put their careers at risk. According to him, such tournaments lack of proper medical personnel to give attention to players. “Apart from injuries that can end their careers, the players’ performance might be affected due to fatigue resulting from lack of rest. All this can get the players in trouble with their employers since they will not perform to the best of their ability,” he explained. Masaseng said other than playing at social tournaments, the players can help in a number of other fields like coaching.
An influx of Botswana Premier League registered players was experienced in Good Hope at the annual Motang Tlou Soccer Challenge. Other players were also reported to have taken part in other tournaments across the country. Normally teams would state in a contract that the player should only play for a particular team for a specified period. Most of the team officials have indicated that this is not allowed by clubs. They warned that if any player is found playing at social tournaments, serious measures will be taken against them. Contacted for comment, Botswana Football Association (BFA) spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said the issue is contractual and it lies with individual teams to address it.
However, Mpatane said as BFA ventures towards professionalism the association encourages players to always respect their contracts. Normally teams would state in a contract that the player should only play for a particular team for a specified period. Mpatane said they hope that in future social tournaments will be used to unearth young and upcoming talent. “Development is essential here so hope to see these tournaments used as grassroots development initiatives. When league players take part they over shadow young players who could have been spotted,” said Mpatane, adding that the association will continue advocating fiercely for grassroots development in Botswana to try and grow local football.