Thursday, October 1, 2020

Baboneng claims ignorance over alleged BFA injunction

BY ARNOLD LETSHOLO

Baboneng Film Production has claimed ignorance its contract with the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to air the Debswana First Division football league has been terminated.

Responding to questions on behalf of Baboneng Managing Director, AlfCam Botswana CEO Prince Monna said they had ‘not received any ascertaining official correspondence from BFA.’

Monna said ‘to the best of our knowledge’ the contract is still on. He went on to allege that ‘what the two contracting parties, the BFA and Baboneng discuss in doors is divergent from what the public, as informed by media, knows.’

The AlfCam Botswana CEO highlighted that their contract provides that they can ‘at their discretion,’ broadcast up to 80 games.

With the first division league wrapping up in April, Monna said ‘they may, by then have broadcast 79 games to meet the 80 games threshold as they have already covered one.’

He however admitted that they were facing shortage of sponsors to broadcast the games ‘due to the fact that by the time the contract was signed potential sponsors had already closed their budgets.’

“We have not yet paid out the P1.5million administration fee as required, yet we broadcast one game. The fact that we broadcast a game without having paid the fee symbolizes that we are determined to work. It is well known to everyone in Botswana how difficult it is to access sponsorship,” explained Monna.

He said their hopes are backed by recent correspondence from BFA, informing them (Baboneng) of their partnership with a South African based consulting company, FC Cape Town Consulting.

In the letter, dated 14 February, 2019 and authored by BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo, the association assures Baboneng that ‘it has every intention of furthering the relationship with them’ and ‘to enhance a mutually beneficial partnership’ between them.

“The engagement of FC Cape Town Consulting will further confirm our ongoing commitment to ensure you as our preferred partners and stakeholders receive the return you justifiably deserve,” the letter concludes.

Baboneng said as stakeholders who have already engaged with FC Cape Town Consulting through an arrangement by the BFA, they also had expectations the arrival of the company will help them fulfill their contractual obligations.

In the correspondence with Baboneng, FC Cape Town Consulting assured them they were positive their involvement would benefit the production company.

“We are confident that our expertise in the commercial and marketing aspects of football, we will create strategic benefits to all parties and stakeholders concerned. We as FC Cape Town Consulting will fervently pursue all contractual deliverables between yourself and the BFA. Furthermore, we will form a close partnership with yourselves to look beyond the expected obligations to exploit new, potential avenues to enhance your commercial benefit from our partnership,” FC Cape Town Consulting wrote to Baboneng in a letter dated 12th February.

Monna said days after they met the consulting company they saw divergent developments as the BFA CEO appeared on television announcing termination. Monna said they do not hold any hard feelings towards the BFA and is hopeful that it will one day write apologetic statement subsequent to which they will sit and map the way forward.

Contacted for further clarification on the matter, BFA Chief Executive Officer, Mfolo Mfolo said the contract is off. There have been a breech which ruled off any further working relations.

“We have not communicated with them but the contract is off. We will write them very soon. Second round has started and they have broadcast only one game,” explained Mfolo. He added that if anything, the production house may come in under a different dispensation.

He underscored the fact that FC Cape Town Consulting are their consultants and that they were here to establish their partners and stakeholders and they would work together, but found there already was a breach.

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