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Botswana league ranked 25th in Africa

Publishing Date : 04 February, 2020

Author : MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE

The grades of various top flight leagues across the African continent have been released and Botswana premiership sits on spot number 25 of 31 countries ranked. The results mean the premiership slides one step down from last year’s position.


The rankings are implemented by the body that runs the African game known as Confederation of African Football (CAF).  The body relies on a method known as CAF 5 year ranking and this is based on results from each CAF tournament (Champions League and Confederation Cup) from 2016 to 2020–21.


Botswana scored a paltry 3 points, sharing the 25th spot with the country of Togo. The last time the league scored a point was in 2018, when Township Rollers made considerable strides in the champion’s league under the stewardship of Nikola Kavazovic. The team was eventually eliminated from the CAF tournament in the group stages.


As expected, the northern countries dominate the rankings with Morocco in pole position with 160 points.  Morocco is followed by Tunisia scoring 135 points, while Egypt comes third with 127 points. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), surprised many by breaking the northern monopoly. DRC is in the fourth position with 83 points, catapulted by the ever impressive performance of TP Mazembe. DRC is followed by Algeria, who completes the northern domination.


South Africa, a country where Botswana usually exports its talent to, is in the 6th position and threatens to close the gap between them and Algeria. All the while, observers believe that it is not shocking for Botswana’s league to be ranked below standard, given the recent negative publicity surrounding the game.


Although clubs are struggling to make ends meet with an economy that refuses to bloom, the elite league has always been fortunate to attract sponsors. The long-time title sponsors of the league, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) are pulling out after a lengthy wedding that dates back as far as 2009.  The association high ranking officials are promising to launch two sponsors to improve the performance of the league within the continent.


Below Botswana is Togo, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Benin, Cameroon and Gabon. It is remarkable how Botswana league has beaten these countries’ leagues, who all have made it to Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) more than once. Gabon has also hosted AFCON tournament more than once and Cameroon are the next to host in 2021. The fall of the elite league is also a result of lack of modalities in place. The league has long wanted to stand independent but there is no blue print in place to follow.


Fabian Zulu, a football commentator and also a former player who played in Botswana and Zimbabwe, said the standard of the domestic game has gone down horribly. He is of the view that results are not surprising given the conditions bedevilling the home premiership.
“First of all, I am not surprised that Botswana is falling spectacularly down. The standards have dropped horribly. Sponsors are not happy, players fail to penetrate to other markets and the league itself can no longer attract players who were in the same notch with us,” he stressed.

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