Botswana Football Association (BFA) has cleared confusion over the date and venue of the Orange FA Cup final.
The final – featuring Township Rollers and Orapa United – will take place in Francistown on June 15.
BFA Constitution declares that all activities should be concluded not later than May 31st.
There has been confusion over the finals particularly that the national team has to take part in the COSAFA Cup though the players of both teams in the FA Cup finals are dominating the Zebras. Orapa United coach Teenage Mpote is also the Zebras coach.
Nonetheless the association met on Wednesday to map the way forward as well as to come up with a conscious decision on when the final will be played after consulting with Orange. Subsequent to that BFA called a press briefing on Thursday to address the matter.
“We had some challenges which brought us to this date. Our aim was to have this final on the 25th of May but it was impossible. During this season we had two national team matches (CHAN games), which disrupted our schedule. Even right now we have the COSAFA Cup therefore the national team should be given the respect it deserves. The team needs players as early as now because our first game at COSAFA is o n the 2nd of June so staging the cup in the absence of other players or in a short period of time will be bad because we will be not doing good to ourselves. In addition to that we have to give football fanatics and the sponsor a high caliber game and product,” said FA Cup tournament director Setete Phuthego.
The local transfer window for the 2019/20 season opens on June 3, which means players from any other club are free to join teams of their choice. Rollers and The Ostriches are likely to be affected by this; however Phuthego has since quashed those possibilities.
“All players have running contracts and we have consulted the teams involved about the predicament we have. I don’t see players forsaking their teams because this is not the first time to extend the season.”
According to Phuthego, as the tournament organisers they have engaged the National Executive Committee (NEC) which has given them a go ahead to extend the season by two weeks. “NEC is aware of this situation and they have granted us the permission to conclude the FA cup. This is within statutes, so we have not erred,” said Phuthego, who is also BFA Competitions Regional Coordinator.
It is not the first time that the football season will be stretched to the month of June as it once happened during the 2011/12 season. However the extension of that time was caused by Botswana’s participation at the 2012 AFCON finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Both the league and the FA Cup were both concluded in June during that time.