It was all ululations and celebrations yesterday for the annual Orange Kabelano Charity Cup at the National Stadium.
The tournament that has been in existence since 1996 has proved to be even more popular. It has a rich history of not only attracting magnitudes of people from sports but from all walks of lives.
Since the inception of the Kabelano Charity Cup, the stadium has always been full to the brim and more fans were just forced to stay at home.
In addition the Kabelano tournament has never been short of action. Teams display one of the best actions of the season because they parade their new signings of the season. New signings are normally hungry for success and want to prove themselves.
However, with some developments about to take place in the elite league, the Kabelano Charity tournament might be held for the last time this year.
Before the start of the new season in September, Premier League teams might be licensed. The licensing would mean that every competition would be sanctioned by the Premier League. This would also mean that the Premier League would put the target prize money. Those with a better offer will be considered while those who do not would have to try to break their bank accounts.
So far the first prize for Kabelano Charity Cup is P100 000 and is considered as too little. Considering that soccer turnover has grown; it is felt that even the prize money should be increased.
One top soccer source who preferred anonymity told Sunday Standard that Kabelano Charity Cup is facing an uncertain future. The source also added that other tournaments might also be affected.
“The face of Botswana soccer has changed drastically in the past few years. This also means certain things, like sponsorships, should also go with the changing times. I can assure you that Kabelano is hanging in the balance and there might be a new and lucrative prize for a charity tournament next year. Maybe there already is a potential sponsor waiting out there to finalise things with the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the Premier League,” the source said.
On the other hand, the chairperson of the Kabelano Trust, Terrence Dambe told Sunday Standard that he is unaware of the looming licencing of the Premier League. He said their norm has always been negotiating with the BFA every year for the tournament.
“I am not aware of any licencing of the Premier League clubs and how it will operate. For the past years, we have just been negotiating with the BFA and we hope to do so for next year,” he said.
Dambe would not want to comment on their next step once someone comes with an offer better than the current one. One of the tournaments under threat of not being available next year looks to be the Coca-cola. Already the 16-year-old Coca-Cola tournament is yet to be renewed for next year. Whether Coca Cola would be there the following year remains to be seen. Currently it is the highest paying tournament in the country. It offers a first prize of P120 000 to the champions, an amount equivalent to the league’s first prize money.