BY DUNCAN KGANGKENNA
The Botswana Premier League (BPL) board has finally acceded to pressure and reinstated the league management committee.
In its emergency meeting last week Monday, the BPL board agreed that the management committee be reinstated and should start work before the commencement of the 2019/2020 season.
The league management committee is seen as the only remedy to keep the premier league board chairpersons far from interfering with fixturing and influencing unnecessary changes to the league schedule. Often the BPL board chairperson and the league CEO are blamed for favouring certain teams.
According to a communiqu├® from the BPL, “the terms of reference for the league management committee were approved on Monday and expression of interest will be published through the BPL social media platforms inviting the interested individuals to serve in the committee.”
The reinstatement follows the recommendations of a task team sent by the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to look into the issue of BPL match fixtures after some teams, led by Gaborone United (GU) and Notwane Football Club and Miscellaneous Sporting Club complained against some fixtures.
The teams had written letters of complaint to the BFA questioning the rescheduling of their matches, which resulted in Miscellaneous SC not honouring their fixture against Township Rollers.
In the aftermath of the rescheduled fixtures, some board members cast aspersions at the BPL Chief executive Officer (CEO) and some accusing them of biasness in the running and management of the league.
In the recent contentious fixture between Township Rollers and Miscellaneous where the latter did not honour the match, it was alleged by some teams that the fixture rescheduling was not legal.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) then instituted an inquiry to find what went wrong. The two men committee was led by Obonye Jonas and Mothusi Taolo. They established that the BPL was wrong hence they recommended the fixture be rescheduled.
The committee that did the investigations also found that fixturing at the BPL was irregular and the structure that is mandated by the BFA constitution to deal with fixtures is not in place and the task has been given to the BPL CEO.
They also found that “in some cases, fixtures have been put in place without the approval of the board. This approach is similarly irregular as it removes the Board’s oversight function in fixturing” read the report.
The two men committee recommended that the BPL must regularize by appointing the premier league management committee as per the BFA constitution without delay. Or if BPL is of the view this structure is no longer necessary for one reason or the other, it must sponsor the amendment of relevant clauses of the BFA constitution to abolish the management committee.
As the remedy to avoid doubts and fights during the league it was recommended that once fixtures have been prepared by the premier league management committee and duly approved by the BPL board, they must not be lightly tempered with to avoid unnecessary chaos.
The league was also advised to stick to the activation plan.
The league management committee has powers to make decisions concerning the management and control, administration and running of the league matches.
The committee that was appointed was overpowered by the BPL board fighting and was overruled eventually abandoning their mandate. Efforts to reintroduce it also failed hence the BPL CEO ended up taking the duties of the management committee.