The Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) wants national league teams to work according to players’ contracts to the letter.
FUB also calls for players’ insurance payouts or compensation on injuries or death that occurs at work.
FUB seeks that teams take a lead in taking players welfare seriously. The union woke up to the issues after some teams failed to honour some players’ contracts, relegating them to being beggars.
A fortnight ago, Township Rollers lost a player, Gofaone Tiro, who collapsed during training due to cardiac arrest and was without insurance cover.
FUB secretary general, Kgosana Masaseng said last year that they had partnered with Botswana Building Society and had packages with First Sun Insurance who were to cover players.
“The agreement was such that teams would deduct P100 from players’ salaries and pay it to FUB so that they could cover the players in terms of injuries or death. We have list of players from Rollers and Tiro was one of them. Rollers was supposed to deduct P100 and forward it to FUB but to date nothing has happened,” Masaseng said.
He explained that “in Tiro’s case the parents were to get at least P95 000 from his insurance cover”.
“Teams must adhere to the basic principles of club licensing,” he said.
Club licensing demands that teams are to insure players; at least those playing for national leagues, that is, first division and premier league.
He observed that Rollers during the era of Somerset Gobuiwang as managing director players were insured but the insurance scheme later lapsed.
According to ABSA group, the insurance policy they had with Rollers had life cover and players were to be paid salaries for 36 months (3 years).
Had Rollers continued with the ABSA cover Tiro’s parents were to get over P300 000. The ABSA/Rollers deal was entered into in October 2011.
Masaseng observed that the teams could only be compelled by the Workman’s Compensation Act which is mandatory for clubs to compensate those players who got injured or die while at work.
Masaseng also has doubts on the medical examinations conducted by teams. FUB medical committee is expected to release a statement on expectations of what teams should do.
“We expect periodic check-ups on players at least every three months. We also suspect some teams connive with some doctors just to give medical certificates without examining players” he casted his doubts.
Masaseng said players have approached them wanting FUB to intervene on their unpaid dues. “Players say they can only play for this season and next season it will depend entirely on teams to honour their contracts and pay according to their contracts demands.
He said players cannot continue working for nothing. “If teams are not serious they must release those players from their contracts and let them find a better means of survival. Some can opt to go for school rather than wasting time playing for nothing,” Masaseng said.
He said FUB will be meeting the Botswana Football Association Emergency Committee soon to address the issues.