By Duncan Kgangkenna
League chairpersons are accusing the Botswana Premier league office of showing favouritism towards the league champions Township Rollers over the use of the national stadium. The concerned chairpersons also allege that Rollers is being favored because the board chairman, Jagdish Shah is using his position for personal gain.
The BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thabo Ntshinogang explained that the league has secured and paid all the stadia across the country that are under the management of the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) to use them during their games. “The Premier League Board has agreed to pay a lump sum for use of all stadiums managed by BNSC not only the National Stadium,” explained Ntshinogang.
However Ntshinogang could not disclose how much the league has paid the BNSC for the use of their facilities. “Unfortunately, I can’t reveal the amount agreed because it is a confidential issue. As indicated, the fee charged was not only based on use of the National Stadium only but on all stadia under BNSC management,” he says.
Rollers has played more games at the national stadium more than others. Gaborone United and Mochudi centre Chiefs have chosen the national stadium as their home ground for the 2018/2019 season, whilst other teams have picked the National Stadium as their alternative venue.
On why Rollers is using the stadium more than other teams, Ntshinogang said not all stadiums are equally shared.
Since the beginning of the season Rollers has played two home games at the National Stadium and one away at the same venue against GU. GU has played one home game so far and others will be played at the National Stadium on dates not coinciding with BNSC planned activities.
League chairpersons who spoke to The Telegraph on condition of anonymity explained that they have since raised the issue at the board and they have directed that all teams must be treated equally. “There should be fairness in fixturing and equity. Rollers is benefiting from all this unfair treatment. We have to be told when and which games will be played at the national stadium,” quipped the league chairpersons.