Following Botswana National U-20 Women team’s humiliating defeat last week, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has withdrawn them from the on-going FIFA U20 Women World Cup qualifiers. The tam lost 1-7 against Kenya at Lobatse Sports Complex last week. Botswana U20 women’s team was supposed to travel to Kenya for a return match of the preliminary round of the World Cup qualifiers on 5 August 2017. The BFA leadership however took a decision to withdraw the team from the competition. The BFA said in a statement that it is financial constrained and cannot be able to let the team continue with the competition. “The Botswana Football Association regrets the announcement to withdraw its U20 women national team from the on-going qualifiers of the FIFA U20 women World Cup with immediate effect. The association has financial constraints, hence is unable to continue with the participation in the tournament,” read the statement. BFA CEO Ookeditse Malesu said the decision was taken after having considered all the options and it is in accordance with required notices for withdrawals. This, however, seems like a good move for the association to have withdrawn the team from the competition looking at its current play. Going to Nairobi will still be an uphill for the local ladies who have proved that they still need a lot of preparation for such competitions. Currently there is no league that is running for women to use as preparations and even at national level, the team did not have proper preparations hence the dismal defeat last week.
Analysts however feel that withdrawing the team in the middle of the competition is not good as it gives the country a bad image. Former Zebras player Mmoni Segopolo said it would have been wise if the association could have not let the team participate in the first place. He said since FIFA calendar of events is released well in time BFA should have known that they do not have enough money for the competition. “Withdrawing while the competition is on is not a good thing as it may have a negative effect on local football and may also affect the players themselves,” said Segopolo. He, however, added that even if funds were available the team should not just be taken to competitions when it is not well prepared. Segopolo said there has not been enough game time for women in the country and this has greatly affected them. “It should not be about the money but the preparedness of the teams that should determine their participation at such competitions,” said Segopolo.