The covid-19 pandemic has left some women footballers around the country stranded and without any means of survival. The affected players who normally depend on their football clubs for survival are said to be now encountering tough times as they cannot afford to buy even the basic needs such as food and toiletries as well as paying their rentals for accommodation.
Nhabe Regional Football Association (NRFA) Chairperson, Norman Sebele has confirmed that their region is among those which are experiencing the same challenges. Sebele indicated that they have since compiled and submitted a report to Botswana Football Association (BFA) as requested by the latter to see how the players through their clubs can be assisted.
According to him,one will find that the entire squad of some of these clubs is unemployed with only a few of them doing some piece jobs as a side hustle. Those who make income is said to be something not sustainable resulting in them to mostly depend on their football clubs for survival.
Sebele laments that because of the covid-19 induced lockdown it is however difficult for the already financially struggling teams to support these players in terms of paying their rents and buying them groceries. “Other teams provide for their players but as for now they are currently unable to do so because companies which normally assist them have also been affected the pandemic,” he decried.
According to Sebele, players who have not been affected by the pandemic are those who are playing for financially stable clubs as well as those who are also students. “Some of our players are students so when everything closed down they went back home to stay with their parents, we are now remaining with those who are in need of help,” he noted.
When recently interviewed by one of the State Radio, BFA NEC (responsible for Women Football) Tsoseletso Magang shared some similar sentiments. “The covid-19 situation has found us when players are not able to sustain themselves, they couldn’t afford the basics such as food. Even their coaches found themselves is such a challenge,” Magang said when asked about the challenges experienced by women football during the ongoing pandemic.
She lamented that the challenges has even discouraged some of the players to continue training on their own during the lockdown period. “We want for our players to also find ways to train themselves during this period but some of them would not be encouraged to do so because of hunger,” Magang stressed.
To alleviate the situation Magang revealed that they have since started to provide players who have been hard hit with some food parcels. This she said followed after engaging with several clubs around the country to assess and find those who were in dire situation and needed to be assisted urgently.
NRFA Chairperson has however indicated that clubs from his region have not yet received such assistance but has expressed hopeful that the association will soon reach out t