Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the Botswana Football league (BFL) have finally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The long-awaited agreement was adopted and signed this past weekend during the BFA national executive committee (NEC) meeting.
It is expected to guide the relationship between the BFA and BFL while also providing the latter with guidance on how it will self-govern.
“This MoU is a contract between the BFA as the supreme body and the BFL as a new and independent commercial wing of the association,” BFL officer Monnakgotla Mojaki explained.
Speaking in an interview, Mojaki said it was necessary for the two to sign such a contract to avoid confusions between the BFA and its new special member.
The BFL officer said while the BFL will assume some greater responsibilities which were once undertaken on their behalf by the BFA, the latter will still be in control of football in the country.
Among other things, he said the MoU gives the BFL a responsibility to negotiate and sign contracts and sponsorships.
Prior to the current dispensation, the BFL, then known as the BPL, could negotiate but only under the authority of the BFA, which was the ultimate signatory.
With the BFL locked in sponsorship negotiations ahead of the new season, the MoU is expected to give the structure more authority to conclude deals.
As part of the MoU, for every sponsorship deal signed by the BFL, the BFA will be entitled to get a certain percentage of the total sponsorship value as royalties.
The BFL officer however said he could not provide the exact percentage as both the BFA and the BPL were still negotiating.
Of another great importance, the MoU gives the BFL a responsibility to organise and regulate its own competitions.
This means where the BFA previously controlled match scheduling, the BFL will now draw its own match fixtures.
Mojaki said such undertakings will however be done in alignment with the BFA’s season calendar, meaning the new structure cannot schedule any games outside the set BFA season calendar.
Along with this, the BFL will also have its own disciplinary structures and rules but the ultimate authority will still rest with the BFA. He said as such, everything will be done in accordance with the BFA, CAF and FIFA statutes.
He explained that as such, the new structure cannot be expected to have its own national appeals structure running parallel to that of the BFA, which is the supreme football appeals body in the country.
On the other hand, with its new found independence, the BFL will now lose some of the influence it had within local football.
Where it was once represented by 16 members at the BFA General Assembly, it will now only have its board chairman as its sole delegate.
“The reasons for this are that as the BFL is independent of the BFA, it does not make decisions binding to affiliates of the association,” Mojaki explained.