The UEFA Head of International relations, Pasquier Eva has praised Botswana Football Association (BFA) for benefiting from the UEFA assist program. The UEFA Assist contributes to the development of football, as it aims to increase solidarity and enhance football development as well as tackle the needs of national associations and confederations outside of Europe.
The move saw the BFA formalising their relations with sister federations members in Europe such as the Slovakia Football Federation (SFF) that saw the national women’s team spend time in Europe for practice matches in 2019.
Over the years, UEFA has demonstrated its commitment to reinforcing relationships with other confederations by providing ad hoc support and signing memorandums of understanding with all five of its sister confederations. UEFA Assist institutionalises this ongoing support of other associations and confederations in terms of knowledge sharing and football development.
When speaking to the media on Tuesday via Microsoft Teams, Eva said, “the main scope of UEFA Assist is essentially to share knowledge and best practices to help UEFA’s sister confederations to develop and strengthen football within their respective territories. UEFA Assist is designed to provide practical assistance and offer support through development activities.
“UEFA Assist is composed of four pillars, each providing specific support to member associations and confederations worldwide with Capacity building (operations and football), Development of youth football, infrastructure and UEFA member association support.
UEFA Assist is implemented in close cooperation with UEFA’s sister confederations. UEFA relies on the confederations’ input to avoid overlapping with existing projects in their respective territories,” she added.
Meanwhile, Maclean Letshwiti who is vying for the second term as the BFA President highlighted the expertise brought by UEFA Assist as key to a turn around strategy that many African association members need, not only the BFA.
“From my time as the BFA president I have realized that commonly in Africa, all the association members have the same and critical problem which is administration. The concentration is more on the pitch but not off the pitch but the two aspect of football should be parallel. This is what makes football, most African football lack administration and communication ton to balance of sponsorship alike.
For the BFA and its stakeholders should understand the objectives it will enrich football on the pitch. I guarantee UEFA Assist that the BFA will speedily improve its communication and administration in order to put the association in good ranking of governance,” he concluded.
For his part, when giving the BFA administrators a heads up on how to deal with pandemics, Stewart Regan who has a vast experience in European football administration said this is time for Botswana’s elite clubs to capacitate their boardrooms with competitive personnel that can facilitate grassroots, harness sponsorships and work with the government on best ways to return to football. Regan, the Scottich Football Association’s former CEO through his company Ascend Global Consulting are the UEFA and FIFA consultants. They are also advising number of sports organizations around the world.
With countries still struggling to return football to normalcy because of the covid-19 pandemic, the BFA has hired a task force led by Carolin Braun, the key secretariat personnel and other stakeholders such as Footballers Union Botswana (FUB) and regional leagues representatives.