Gaborone — International Netball Federation (INF) has cancelled the youth regional games, which were scheduled for May.
This was a huge disappointment for the local sport fraternity, which was expecting at least a postponement of the event, in which the Botswana Under 21 team was to be part of.
A news release published by INF says the federation decided to use its world rankings to determine the qualifiers for the regions, which left out the local lasses.
INF says it has decided to reduce the threshold for the number of international matches from eight to six over the ranking period for this year.
"The resolution is highly likely to confirm South Africa, Uganda and Malawi, which are ranked first, second and third in the continent and also highly ranked in INF world rankings as African representatives at next year's global showpiece scheduled for June 10-19, 2021 in Viti Levu Islands: Fiji.
Meanwhile, Botswana Netball Association (BONA) president Malebo Raditladi confirmed INF's decision saying the federation had stated that there was very little time left for preparations.
Raditladi said the cancellation had affected the athletes as they lost the opportunity to play with other talented players.
She said some girls were looking forward to the competition before graduating to the next age group adding that they would also miss out on a farewell match.
She however said INF had promised to find a way to plan for such situations and all continents should see what could be done in cases of emergency like COVID-19.
She said the local athletes should also not feel belittled, but continue their training and stay focused.
Source : BOPA