Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Discontent over Ecco City, BMC sponsorship from ‘public’ coffers

The successful run of the ‘meat clubs’, Ecco City Greens and Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) might back fire on them sooner if dissatisfactions among certain quarters of the football fraternity are anything to go by. Most teams are angry that the two teams continue to enjoy massive support from the parastatal organisation BMC while they have to fend for themselves. Teams also say that the situation of both teams should be addressed quickly as was done with some institutional teams such as Tasc, Mogoditshane Fighters and Wonder Sporting Club. Most community teams have for a long time voiced their concerns saying the two teams do not give them fair competition because they are funded from the government coffers. Last year, Ecco City won the league championships while BMC were among the top eight. At press time, both teams were in the semi-finals of the lucrative Coca-Cola Cup after edging out community powerhouses, Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs. The losses of Rollers and Chiefs are reported to have been the last straw for community teams prompting them to launch the intensive appeal.

An official of one of the popular community teams voiced his concerns to The Sunday Standard saying the Botswana Football Association (BFA) is highly to blame. The official said BFA has been playing hide and seek for a long time and it is about time the matter is given urgent attention.

“We are grateful for both BMC and Ecco City Green’s good runs, but things must be fair to everybody for the benefit of the game. Just imagine BMC and Ecco City Green is funded by our taxes. BMC is a parastatal because it is partly run by the government. This then qualifies these teams as institutional because they do not raise money for themselves like we do. We have been saying these things for a long time and it is about time we are heard or else we will see what to do,” the official said.

The official said the BFA has for a long time been saying they would get to the bottom of the matter but nothing has happened.

On the other hand, Township Rollers communications director, Kaizer Sekaba, also voiced his displeasure at the way the BMC and Ecco City saga is being handled. Sekaba told Sunday Standard that he is not bitter because his team has been knocked out of the Coca Cola Cup by Ecco City, but said the playing field is not level. Sekaba said everybody knows that the two teams are bankrolled by the BMC, which is partly state run. He also said what disadvantages them the most is the shares of the gate takings when playing against meat teams.

“Ecco City and BMC are riding over us. They are funded and in addition use our hard earned cash. This should be addressed urgently because we are now in a situation where the meat boys will be ruling our football as once nearly happened with both the army and police teams,” Sekaba said.
Ecco city Green became the first team from the northern part of the country to win the elite league.

Ecco had a successful run from the second division where they were unstoppable and ended up in the Premier League. It only took them three seasons to win the league. BMC, on the other hand, is one of the oldest teams and has never won any major trophy. But the team has a consistent performance and always finishes in reputable positions. BMC credits itself for producing quality players. Other teams like Rollers have, however, recruited most of them this past transfer window. Before the past transfer window, BMC players almost made up half of the national Under 23 players that are currently doing well in international competitions. Ecco City, on the other hand, never easily lose its players, a clear sign that their welfare is well looked after.

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The Telegraph October 21

Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 21, 2020.