The former chairman of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Club Licensing Committee Mfolo Mfolo has stopped short of admitting that the licencing committee was only a Paper Tiger that had no teeth.
In an effort to ensure clubs adhered to the licensing requirements as mandated by both FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the BFA carried what at the time was deemed extensive exercise to compel clubs to qualify for licensing. As it turned out, most of the Premier League clubs qualified only on paper while only the ground the still fall far short of the Fifa and CAF licencing standard.
Speaking in an interview, Mfolo, who is now the BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said due to lack of personnel, the committee could not do spot checks on clubs and relied on them providing the necessary paperwork.
While a report written by the Mfolo led committee at the end of the club licensing exercise last year shows all the 16 premier league teams passed the club licensing requirements, the reality on the ground has shown teams struggling to meet even the most basic of requirements of club licensing.
In what has been a season fraught with crisis, many teams are failing to pay their players and technical staff; some do not have administrative offices and personnel while many do not have approved youth development programmes or youth teams.
According to the committee’s report which is titled BFA Club Licensing Report 2017 / 2018 Football Season, four (4) teams got provisional B license, seven (7) got Provisional A License while the other five (5) teams were given an outright full license.
The four teams given Provisional B License, having scored below 70 percent but not less than 50 percent are Miscellaneous, Sharps Shooting Stars, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Black Forest.
Provisional A License was then awarded to Sankoyo Bush Bucks, BDF XI, Gilport Lions, Tafic SC, Extension Gunners, Flamengo Santos and Gaborone United, while Township Rollers, Jwaneng Galaxy, Orapa United, Police XI, Security Systems and Orapa United were the five given an outright full license.
“To be honest, we in the office have not done the spot checks on our teams after they filed their club licensing requests,” Mfolo explained.
“This is because our club licensing office does not have enough personnel. In all honesty, the office has only one staff member, being Stephen Maleka who is the Competitions and Club Licensing officer,” he added.
“All other members of the committee are volunteers. As you might be aware, even I as the then chairman of the committee was a volunteer,” Mfolo continued.
The BFA CEO went on to state that under normal circumstances, the committee should have done the spot checks on clubs but had failed due to shortage of personnel.
According to Mfolo, the most difficult areas which clubs failed to address adequately in the club licensing requirements included Audited financial reports, administrative and personnel and sporting criteria.
With clubs having failed to meet the October 2017 deadline to have complied with club licensing requirements, the BFA CEO said the association will look to ensure that clubs adhere to the standards.
“As things stand at the moment, if clubs fail to pass club licensing requirements, CAF will fine the local football controlling body and not the club,” he explained.
“Now that we have rolled out the club licensing exercise, we have to make sure that our clubs qualify. Starting this coming season, we will strictly ensure that our clubs adhere to club licensing requirements,” he concluded.