Botswana Premier League (BPL) clubs are facing criticism from premiership sponsor Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) over low votes for the upcoming inaugural BTC pre-season tournament dubbed BTC Charity cup.
This follows the unexpected low number of votes garnered by some clubs contending for slots to compete at the one day charity spectacular which is slated for the 11th August at the national stadium.
Just a day before voting closure yesterday, only five clubs had reached over ten thousand votes while more than four clubs failed to reach over a hundred votes to make it in the four teams’ knockout tournament.
Township Rollers, Extension Gunners, Mochudi Centre Chiefs, Miscellaneous Sporting Club, Orapa United and Gaborone United were the only clubs to have reached the ten thousand threshold while the likes of Gilport Lions, Security Systems, Police XI and BDF XI gunned down below hundred votes.
Speaking in an interview with Sunday Standard, BTC Marketing Leonard Seone said the Charity cup is a project for charity which should be supported unconditionally. He said they are aware that there is a local trend of late submissions which is not good for the sake of growth in all aspects.
“Since launching the charity cup three months ago, we have only witnessed mass voting in the last week of the process. We have been part of domestic football for the past 10 years in our efforts to assist in growth of local football and always encourage clubs to push hard and expect that they assist in our brand visibility as well as they prepare for the upcoming season through the Charity cup,” said Seone.
He said despite the fact that some clubs have a lower support base he believes that there is a lot that could have been done to encourage mass voting for the sake of charity.
“We know that some clubs don’t have large numbers but if you are talking of 10 votes or less than 100 votes for a premiership club, it is not a good cause for charity and shows that they are not doing enough. The predicament is also witnessed in the ticket sales as mass sales occur in the last few days ahead of the tournament,” Seone told Sunday Standard.
Meanwhile, winners of the one day spectacular will pocket P300 000 while runners up of the competition will walk home P200 000 richer and semis losers expected to take home P120 000 each.