The highly anticipated Botswana basketball league has failed to start due to unavailability of venues and funding. The Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) had indicated that the league will commence second week of April without a league sponsor.
BBA league chairperson Peter Ubakard told Gazette Sport that even though the league has failed to take off, they have however come up with a plan to hold a series of tournaments in order to keep players fit.
He stated that they are working on a plan to ensure that the league secures funds in order to kick off. “The league has not started, we are still working on it and trying to put things in place with regards to venues and funding,” he said.
Ubakard highlighted they will have more tournaments to keep teams fit especially during this winter season.
BBA technical Director Tirafalo Shalosh Matsetse stated that his team is working hard to source sponsorship.
“It is very difficult as we all know the financial status of most companies during COVID-19 but we are optimistic that we will find some sort of support, “ said Matsetse.
He said they have 16 clubs affiliated to the federation and only six have both men and women teams.
“Our clubs are basically the ones sponsoring the league hence the Executive board together with the League Committee are working together to find a sponsor,” added Matsetse.
He further stated that the Association is struggling to assist clubs with finances given that the grant from the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) is not enough.
He said the preparation of the start of the league are at an advanced stage as “we already met with the affiliates twice this year to discuss all the logistics.”
He also said they held a preparation tournament early this year which was open to all clubs.
“We are towards the end of the current financial year and it would be difficult to get financial aid from BNSC,” stated Matsetse
He said they have approached BNSC to assist with extra funding for the league adding that they remain hopeful that in the next financial year they will get extra funds to help clubs cushion the cost of playing in the league.