Monday, December 9, 2019

CAF competition may stoke fires between telecom giants

By Duncan Kgangkenna

Botswana Football Association will have a difficult decision to make over which of their two tournament sponsors will have its winners representing the country in CAF confederation cup.

The association’s National Executive Committee (NEC) is expected to meet in January and make a determination on which tournament between Mascom Top 8 and Orange FA cup will have the privilege of its winners going into continental competition.

Previously, it was the winners of the FA cup, then sponsored by Coca Cola, who were given the slot to represent the country in CAF confederation cup, while the premier league winners have always represented the country in the CAF Champions League tournament.

However, following the departure of Coca Cola and the absence of the FA Cup that followed thereafter, the BFA leadership resolved to have Mascom Top 8 winners playing in the CAF confederation cup, a decision which stands up to today.

Speaking in an interview, BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo revealed that the BFA will have to make a determination because it was not decided in the initial stages.

“We haven’t made the decision on which of the two tournaments will have its winners going into CAF confederation cup,” explained Mfolo.

“As it stands Mascom Top 8 is still the one that produces a team that will represent the country in CAF confederation cup. The decision to have the Top 8 winners representing the country in CAF tournament was taken at the prerogative of the FA, it is not there in the sponsorship contract,” said Mfolo.

The BFA chief further explained that the NEC will make a determination after consulting with sponsors of the two tournaments and other stakeholder in the game to make an informed decision.

While the BFA is adamant that proper consultations will be made, there is already an uneasy feeling that the issue may stoke the fires of rivalry within the associations’ sponsors.

There is already an uneasy relationship between the country’s three big mobile telecommunication companies.

The rivalry is such that whenever one of the three companies is sponsoring an event, it ensures that any advertising by its rivals is covered.

Premier league teams have also borne the brunt of this rivalry, with the mobile companies barring them from being sponsored by rival companies during events they have sponsored.

Now with Orange Botswana coming back into the football scene, it remains to be seen how the association will navigate the maze that is the rivalry of their own sponsors.

It remains to be seen if the decision that is going to be taken will not hurt the other sponsor looking at the fact that the two giant mobile companies are rivals.

RELATED STORIES