- Admits current state of surfaces is a potential danger to players
- Says it is considering privatising management of the facilities
Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) is considering privatising management of stadia across the country because it has no funds to refurbish the dilapidating sports facilities, Gazette Sports has established.
Botswana football league club coaches have been critical about the state of the facilities at stadia, saying the surfaces can injure players.
The CEO of BNSC, Tuelo Serufho, has told Gazette Sports that even though they acknowledge that there is a desperate need to revamp public playing fields, particularly sports complexes, lack of funds has become a stumbling block.
He acknowledged that the artificial turf at sport complexes is overdue for replacement and worn out. “If we had funds, we would have replaced the artificial turf at Molepolole, Masunga and Maun sport complexes because they have surpassed their lifespan,” Serufho said.
“In addition to the turf, there are other major maintenance issues that need to be attended to at the facilities but we have not been able to do that because of lack of funds.”
He added that they receive a small subvention from government to cover maintenance costs on annual basis, and the idea being that the facilities should be able to generate their own money to supplement the subvention.
Even so, he said the reality is that some of these facilities do not have the potential to generate any significant amount of money because they have to strike a balance between running the facilities commercially and providing sports as a social good.
He disclosed that they are considering looking at privatising management of these facilities to ease the financial pressure off BNSC but are currently exploring different strategies to ensure that stadia are attended to on a daily basis.
“We are exploring the possibility of privatising the management of some of our facilities and have already engaged the government about this and await a response,” Serufho said.
The National Stadium in Gaborone was recently inspected by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is awaiting the outcome regarding whether it can host international games.
At the Botswana Football League, Acting CEO Patrick Motsepe has described the state of stadia as “worrisome”. “Before the league campaign started, we had requested the BNSC to do some minimal work on Molepolole Sport Complex to make the surface safe for players,” he said.
He added that they have not received any formal complaint from clubs and will attempt to address if it comes.