Efforts to improve local football are underway as Botswana Football Association (BFA) engages a German technical expert to assess the association’s short and long-term development strategy. The German expert Christoph Rocholl started his work at Lekidi this week and is expected to finish at the end of November 2017. While in Botswana Rocholl - a sport scientist – will conduct a comprehensive feasibility study on the long-term football development project as well as assist with development training for coaches. The arrival of the German in Botswana comes in the wake of BFA’s anticipated move to roll out a football development plan aimed at yielding good results over a long period of time. For a long time, local football has been struggling to see growth while the national team’s performance continued to plunge down. This has been blamed on the absence of proper development structures, especially at youth level that feeds the national team. Rocholl is a respected sport scientist who has been involved with football development in a number of countries. In 1980 the German worked in Costa Rica and assisted with youth development. He is credited with the rise of the Costa Rica national team that recently made it to the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Furthermore, in 2009 he was tasked with developing grassroots football and coaching education in Honduras. He also worked with India to create football development policies. It is for this visible trail that Rocholl left which made BFA officials to enter into a partnership with German Federal Foreign Office to solicit his expertise.
Football development has always been an aspect closer to current BFA President Maclean Letshwiti’s heart. Upon stepping into office Letshwiti made football development his priority, saying it is the only way that local football can see growth. For the first time in the history of football in Botswana, the country now has a running nationwide youth league. Letshwiti said the development programme has even attracted the attention of FIFA officials who are happy with the progress. When he took over the BFA presidency, Letshwiti promised to work closely with FIFA on the drive to further push for football development in the country. The world football governing body recently sent a development officer to Botswana to assess the country’s progress on football development. Also FIFA recently through FIFA Forward initiative granted BFA funds to undertake the Artificial Turf Projects to the value of P4 Million. The project according to Letshwiti will provide more infrastructures that will enable BFA to further its grassroots development drive. He believes that with all these developments Botswana will have a robust development strategy. It is believed that with a good football development strategy Botswana football will see a big growth going into the future.