On the field of play, the Botswana Premier League (BPL) continues to gain momentum and get more entertaining. Off the playing field however, things have been a little too slow. Despite this, Botswana Football League (BFL) chairperson Nikolas Zakhem is optimistic they will soon get up to speed.
Speaking in an interview with Sunday Standard sports, the BFL chairperson said the fact that the league started with no hiccups after a long time due to suspension of sporting activities gives hope that good things are ahead.
“The teams are cooperating and honouring fixtures as scheduled, this is good and the same spirit will bear fruit at the end,” a hopeful Zakhem said. He went on to reveal that next week BFL will be releasing prize money categories. “The prize money will be coming from the sponsors we already have. It will be reasonable because we don’t have title sponsor,” he explained.
A buoyant Zakhem further revealed that next season, the league will have a title sponsor and the prize money will be better. “We are working hard for the league to have title sponsor so that the prize money and grants are better,” he said. The BFL chairperson said the teams are currently getting close to P50 000 as grants monthly. Last season there was no prize money and the BPL teams were aggrieved and felt hard done by the BFA.
Zakhem further said the Botswana Football Association National Executive Committee (BFA NEC) now understand that the league is independent and they no longer interfere in the affairs of the BFL. He said they are in consultation with the Medical Committee to ease some of the health protocols where possible because they are a challenge to the teams and it is expensive to meet and adhere to the demands of covid.
“It is a difficult situation because we also have to make sure we don’t compromise the health of all involved in football. We have approached them to see if and where it is possible to ease some of the protocols so that teams don’t incur more expenses,” explain Zac.
Since the BFL is independent from the mother body, it sources and signs its own sponsors and partners, unlike in the previous arrangement where BFA had to sign with sponsors on behalf of the elite league. The league season is expected to end towards end of June/ beginning of July.