When the new football season kicks-off on August 14 the games will be played under a slightly different set of rules. The changes came at the BFA biennial general assembly that was held in Gaborone last weekend. The first change adopted by the heads of football from across the country concerns the elite league which has the biggest sponsorship. From this season it has been agreed that three teams will be relegated from the premier league automatically. The assembly agreed that the current system of who gains promotion for the third spot has had its challenges ever since inception. Previously the third team from the bottom of the premier league played in a round-robin format with runner-ups from both the northern and southern first division teams. BFA Legal Advisor Tebogo Sebego got a nod from the assembly to go ahead with the constitutional amendment allowing the change. ‘’The current system has presented challenges ever since its implementation. Inherently, the odd number set-up presents a likelihood of breach of fair play. The proposal is that the runner-ups of the first division North and South should play-off between them on a home and away basis. The winner of the two should then automatically fill the third slot,’’ the proposed changes will read in the constitution. While it was expected that the issue of reduction of teams from 16 to 12 will also be changed the unthinkable happened. Premier League which rooted for the amendment in the 2008 assembly somersaulted and went back to their initial idea. This came as a shock as most of the world leagues are being reduced at the advice of FIFA to enhance quality. Prior to premier league changing, it was argued that the population of Botswana does not justify 16 clubs in the premier league and still get a high quality across all the 16 participating clubs. It was argued back then that there are very limited resources in terms of both playing fields and finances. With professional clubs having to meet certain obligations including mandatory fully operational offices with full-time employees, signing of contracts with players and insurance the level of funding availed for each club has to be sufficient for a football season. The reduction of clubs from 16 to 12 was to be done in 2014. Another change which was passed as a motion is the scrapping away of the yellow and red card fines. Lower division clubs argued that whilst the money derived from punishing players were to be channelled to a good cause it was more taxing for club owners than the players. The current season of August through to May the following year was also retained contrary to what the BFA Youth Development coach, Jelusic Veselin wanted. Veselin explained to the assembly that youth could have ample time from November after schools closed. The assembly argued that the world is moving with the current scenario so it may prove difficult for Botswana. The assembly also went back on the number of players to be pre-registered per team. The number will move from an initial 25 and back to 30 where it was before the 2008 assembly. There were also other proposed amendments like holding of the annual general assembly annually as buttressed by FIFA’s advice. The ‘council ‘which has been acting as NEC’s superior will also be removed from the constitution and have a lesser structure with an advisory role than a supervisory one. This Sebego argued was per FIFA’s advice.