Thursday, July 2, 2020

BFA’s anonymous P1.5 m sponsorship raises eyebrows

Local football pundits are, as it would be expected, firing salvos following an alleged P1.5 million mysterious funding from an undisclosed organisation.

The cash windfall follows torn relations between the Botswana Premier League (BPL) and sponsors of the elite league Botswana Telecommunications Corporations Limited (BTCL).

The predicament witnessed the local mobile giants slashing sponsorship money in their last sponsorship season due to claims of contract breach by the premier league operations organisation. While football sponsors have come and gone over the years, pundits indicate that sponsorship transparency is critical to avoid unforeseen money laundering cases.

“It is vital that the association comes clean and transparent to all stakeholders on matters regarding funds and sponsorship. These large sums reportedly within the budget of the association need to be announced publicly and transparently to avoid speculations and corruption within the game. Cagey practices often lead to corrupt practices and we should by all means try to curb hidden agendas in sport,” one source revealed.

With the budget of the 2019/20 BTC premiership season sitting at P9.5 million, P5 million is from the title sponsor BTC while P3 million is from ABSA as the official sponsor and the P1.5 million from the reported anonymous sponsor.

Speaking to The Sunday Standard, the BFA chief executive officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo was cagey on the matter saying they are not obliged to reveal the sponsor at the moment as per their agreement.

“For now it should be understood that this is just a donation and we cannot disclose the donor at the moment. We have agreed not to reveal anything now and we will abide by the agreement and believe there is no problem with that,’’ Mfolo told Sunday Standard.

He further said if there is any appropriate agency that might want to sniff around in search of their books they are welcome to do so but they will not publicly reveal anything.

“We are pursuing a relationship here and it is for us to abide and if there is anything suspicious from relevant authorities through litigation our books are open for such. For now, let us just understand that this is just a good Samaritan assistance who does not even need mileage and this follows the predicaments that befell our league sponsorship this season,” narrated Mfolo.

The cash windfall follows rumours flying thick and fast that some privileged teams in the league with cash power are using it to an advantage by borrowing less privileged clubs’ funds for the sake of support at the BPL board meetings.

It is said the alleged clubs will use the power for debate support on matters arising at the BPL board for decision making.

“Now with such undisclosed support it is disturbing for the association to agree to such terms when there is a lot of politics within the local game,” a source told The Sunday Standard.

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