Botswana has announced plans to cushion players from the country’s top two divsions from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying they will offer a subsidized salary stipend to players for the next three months.
Each of the 16 clubs in the Elite League will have a roster of 25 players who will be entitled to a stipend of P2,500 (205 USD) while the second tier players will receive P1,500 (123 USD) for the months of April to June.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC), Tumiso Rakgare.
Teams will be required to submit a list of 25 players each before the subsidy is disbursed directly to players’ bank accounts. At the same time, referees will be assisted through the FIFA relief fund as agreed with Botswana Football Association (BFA).
The players' subsidy is part of the P70 million (5.8mn USD) set aside by the ministry to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has lauded the government for the move, with president Maclean Leshwiti saying it is a huge boost to the P40,000 (3,320 USD) that had already been availed by the FA.