Dragged down by fan violence and match fixing scandals in the past few seasons, Botswana Premier League acting Chief Executive Officer, Thabo ‘Styles’ Ntshinogang has stated that the league is content with the introduction of green card in officiating to promote fair play.
The scheme which is currently being trialled by UEFA to promote fair play was introduced in the Italian Serie B league a fortnight ago. With football so often negatively dominated by issues of simulation or lack of gamesmanship, the image of the sport has taken a turn for the worst across all competitive elite leagues.
This publication has learned that through this initiative, match officials are eligible to reward green cards to players who demonstrate good sportsmanship in the game such as helping opponents off the ground. Notably the card is issued after the game for the conspicuous act of fair play and professionalism.
“The board is aware of the new green card initiative amended by some of the UEFA delegates in their leagues, but we have yet to discuss it within our structures. Look, we are a relatively new association, a developing one so until Fifa has put the initiative in to practice we cannot apply it locally,” Ntshinogang told Gazette Sport.
Ntshinogang further stated that despite concerns of violent conducts in the past seasons, there are code of conduct regulations implemented by clubs which they adhere to.
“All the 16 affiliated clubs in the Premiership have implemented a code of conduct regulations so our duty is to make sure all clubs adhere to it .However at the end of the day, if we want our football to develop we would have to get rid of unsporting behavior so if Fifa pass on the green card policy, we will welcome it,” he said.
Interestingly, despite the transition that our local football has been undergoing, issues of violent conducts in players and supporters have always haunted the image of football. Extension Gunners blockbuster opening fixture against Mochudi Center Chiefs drew out nasty scenes at the interval when the match officials experienced the wrath of spectators who threw water bottles at them
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has seen quite a number of proposals brought forward with the green card initiative being the latest yet to be approved. UEFA and the English FA have a fair play competition for teams with a good record in terms of professionalism and discipline, an initiative CAF and FIFA can adopt.