The Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the Botswana Premier League Board (BPL) are headed for collusion course.
The BPL board has taken a resolution to boycott the league until their grievances are met by the mother body. On the other hand the BFA has warned that any team that is going to boycott the league will face serious repercussions.
The league last week resolved to write to the BFA demanding to meet the national executive committee (NEC) to address them on issues that include, among others, the league prize money, the grants and the BPL board powers.
“We haven’t received any letter from the league. It’s news to me that the league has written to us demanding we meet with the BFA NEC” the BFA chief executive officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo said denying any knowledge of the said letter.
He however, told The Sunday Standard Sport that they have scheduled a meeting next weekend to meet with the board to iron out a few thorny issues that threaten the smooth running of the league.
The BPL board chairperson, Seiphetlho Sefhako, has denied that they have taken the resolution to stop the league.
Sources have informed this publication that the board meeting has agreed and were resolute that things must be addressed and resolved before the premier league teams continue with the league.
Mfolo is of the opinion that the teams should have a budget that will sustain all their activities for the entire season.
“Teams should put all variables in place and work within the budget. Monthly grants are only meant to support the teams. They must know their sources of income; be it membership drives, merchandise or gate takings. They must work on making sure those sources sustain their teams to compete” advised Mfolo.
“The teams are suffering and the grants that come always come late and cannot sustain the teams. The situation that there are no prize monies is making things worse” said one team official who preferred anonymity. The teams have been informed that they won’t be prize money at the end of the current season.
He further explained that boycotting of the league is not the solution as it will come heavy on the teams. “The Constitution and play rules are clear. We will implement them when teams boycott the league. It is a behavior that we will not condone” Mfolo threatened.
On the issue of the BPL board powers taken by the BFA NEC, he said: “The Constitution was amended by the BFA general assembly last year August. The BPL board was part of that decision making body” explained Mfolo.
He said thorough consultation was done to all structures of the BFA to get comment from league officials saying there were not consulted is unfortunate. The league dispute that there has never been that proposal at the BFA assembly and nothing was presented pertaining to the amendment of the constitution and agreed by the general assembly.
The decisions to stripe off the BPL board powers is seen as counterproductive because is striving to be autonomous and be progressive like other leagues in the region and abroad.
In the previous constitution that the BPL board dispute as fraudulent say the board never came with proposal to amend the constitution and take the powers of the BPL.
The previous constitution gave the BPL board responsibility for spearheading professionalization of the league. The board had powers to make decisions concerning the management and the control of football within the premier league including the organization of the football matches for teams playing in the league. The current constitution took all the powers of the board and in the new constitution the Premier league is only recognized as a national league together with first division league. Article 188.8.131.52 the NEC shall make regulations governing both the premier ad the first division.
“We have written to the BFA NEC that we want to meet them and that we have informed them that we will not continue with week 19 of the fixtures until the league grievances are addressed otherwise the last games were fixtures of week 18” explained
One former league official when reach for comment said: “It is wrong for the BFA NEC to interfere with the running of the league. The NEC must do the right thing and appoint the right people in the league management committee.”
He said the teams cannot expect to meet certain requirement when the NEC is also failing to meet the standards they have set.
“The league is in a huge mess and a terrible state. The Bosele Declaration has been put on hold. The demands of the club licensing are high and the people have to be realistic that they cannot afford to meet the high standards of club licensing. We need football Indaba to discuss all the problems facing the football because it has died” observed the former league official.
He advised that the BFA NEC saw the problem at the league and failed to act until the situation worsened and went under control.
“The management committee comprising of the right people, not those close to leadership (friends, should be the ones running the league. The board must stop interfering on a daily basis with the operations of the league” he concluded.