Unavailability of stadia in the country will continue to hamper the progress of sports. Football especially has been the hardest hit with the national stadium lying idle after undergoing renovations two years ago.
The University of Botswana ground, Molepolole Sports complex, SSKB grounds, Francistown grounds and the new Lobatse stadium have been the only venues to host the competitive be Mobile premier league. However at times fixtures had to be postponed to give way to other codes.
UB Manager of Sports and Recreation Raj Rathedi has announced that the UB grounds will be closed with immediate effect to undergo resurfacing.
He said the decision was not taken by government but by UB, in order to prepare for the upcoming African Junior Championships.
“As you know due to the unavailability of the national stadium, UB will not just be a warm-up ground but will host some of the activities, so it needs to be in good condition,” explained Rathedi.
The closure of the stadium means the Zebras’ welcome ceremony which was scheduled to be hosted at UB will have to be moved to a new venue yet to be named.
“We feel very bad, especially about the reception. We have been partners to Zebras since the start of the campaign and UB has been a good hunting ground for them. They have never lost a match here and it would have been nice to host a reception for them,” lamented Rathedi.
Also to be affected is the Under 23 squad whose return match against Egypt was scheduled to be played at the ground.
Premier League General Manager Setete Phuthego said the closure of the stadium would have adverse effects on the league as some fixtures would have to be played at night in Molepolole which is distance from Gaborone.
“We knew this was to come but we thought, we could finish the league before the resurfacing took place,” he said.
Phuthego however said despite the closure of the facility they intend to finish the league on time.
“It is our intention to draw the curtains on the league on the Sunday of May 22, 2011. We will put every measure in place to make it happen,” he said.