In their tireless efforts to continue developing the game of football in the country, Botswana Premier League (BPL) has this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Spanish league administrators La Liga. The MOU, which was signed on Friday, will see the two parties working together towards professionalising local football. Among the areas that will be of concern are marketing, innovation, finance, administration, corporate governance and management. Speaking at the MOU singing Botswana Football Association (BFA) 2nd Vice President Marslow Motlogelwa said this marks a very significant milestone in the BFA’s efforts to develop football in Botswana. Motlogelwa said with La Liga being an institution with a long remarkable experience in professional football they have a lot to learn. “We cannot dispute the fact that our leagues are miles apart in a lot of ways, but I believe this makes the opportunities for collaboration limitless and we are excited by what this agreement represents. We are keen to learn from La Liga which has been making strides in strengthening and developing the sport not only in Spain but in the whole of Europe and worldwide,” said Motlogelwa. He said La Liga will also provide guidance and assistance on how to promote games and increase stadia attendance during match days. This issue has of late become a hot potato in Botswana with the number of people attending games declining by the week. Motlogelwa is confident that this move will help to improve the current situation as La Liga is one of the highly followed leagues in the world.
He said they are hopeful that the MOU will greatly help improve the local league. “If our league can improve we all know that there will be a wave of positive effects across football in Botswana. Our national team performance will improve, Botswana’s FIFA rankings will improve and our players will attract international attention,” said Motlogelwa. He said BPL will do all it can do to provide a successful implementation of this MOU. La Liga representative Antonio Barradas said the MOU will be a win-win for both parties. Barradas, who is the director of La Liga office in Africa, said this will see La Liga helping BPL with trainers to help improve skills level of coaches and administrators. He said La Liga also started small and grew into what it is today; hence BPL can learn a lot from them. “La Liga will help train coaches in Botswana via the methods which have earned it such great success and will also provide guidance to Botswana’s league on issues relating to promoting its competition and attendance at stadia,” he said. The MOU will also see La Liga donating 1000 soccer balls to BPL which are said will be used for grassroots development. The agreement might also see Spanish clubs coming to Botswana during their per-season preparations which will help local teams and give the exposure to international football. He said all they want to do is get closer to the football lovers in Africa and help football in the region grow.