As the effects of Covid-19 on football players worsen, Footballer Union Botswana (FUB) has been forced to raise the bar in their advocacy for players’ welfare.
The union is said to be facing a rising number of players’ contractual cases, mostly borne out of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
Recently, the union announced it will be availing its legal team “to attend and assist players with any legal issues they may have regarding their contracts with their respective clubs” every second Friday of the month between 1230hrs-1400hrs.
FUB Secretary General Kgosana Masaseng has said the services will be provided by the union’s resident legal team.
He said even though the legal team has been silent and not known by many, it has been in existence since the foundation of the Union.
“We have not made a legal team for players; the team has always been there since the formation of FUB,” Masaseng explained.
He however said their intention is to expedite the resolution of any pending and new cases that may have built up over this past year.
“We are taking the cases in numbers due to their build up over the past year. We want to start the process of reporting at least to allow the cases to be delayed by Botswana Football Association; rather than being delayed due to us not attending to them,” he explained.
Masaseng went on to mention that the team has decided to dedicate their time for every two weeks to meet them and deal with their different issues.
“The legal team intends to speed up the process. Once players report their cases, they will be given legal advice. From there, the next step will be to file them at the relevant BFA judicial structures,” he said.
Commenting on the basis of anonymity, a player revealed that ‘cases have been building up throughout the new normal as frictions flared between team management and players.’
“The legal help comes when needed most because we have been in need of someone to help us during these tough times. A lot has been happening in the absence of sport particularly football especially on issues related to contracts,” said the player.
For the concerned player, while the FUB legal help comes a little late, it is better than nothing as they will tick a few issues off their backs and deal with others.
Football analyst Kagiso Kgaogano when commenting on the matter said the biggest issue with teams and players has always been contracts.
“Over the years, we have witnessed how teams have been handling the issue of contracts hence many are going to line up to open cases against contracts.”
“Teams tend to sign contracts with players from the they do not pay them and keep a blind eye on them, which is totally wrong,” he said.
He said even though football like any other sport in Botswana has been put on hold, teams tend to think players will understand.
Kgaogano said it is disappointing that some team management expect players to understand why things happen some way while the do not even engage them.
“Another problem is that, some contracts are of the time when football was being played yet owning the players until present day with an excuse that the is no money due to the new normal. Only for the transfer window to open and they team saw it as a chance to kick them out without paying them still,” he said.