Friday, December 1, 2023

Happy Zebras are willing horses

The gloomy mood at the Zebras camp is expected to evaporate after the Botswana Football Association (BFA) finally paid the long overdue allowances owed to national team players since 2014.
BFA spokesperson, Tumo Mpatane said the association pushed for the issue to be resolved quickly because ‘this is a key step in keeping and having happy players keen to redeem the image and pride of the nation.’
It is hoped that an upswing in the Zebras’ mood will lift the national team out of its current losing rut. The BFA was this week able to pay players allowances after the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) lived up to their promise to pay to the local football federation monies owed to the national team.
Speaking to the Sunday Standard two weeks ago, the then BNSC Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bobby Gaseitsiwe promised that the money would be paid on the 15th of this month.
The debt, which dated as far back as October 2015, covered players’ monthly allowances as well as appearance fees.
The total money paid included P100 daily allowance on camp, P2 000 appearance fees, P1 500 winning bonus and P750 for draws for the past two years.
Some of the players who have been part of the Zebras camp since 2014 have received cash amounts reaching up to P 50, 000. 
It has since been revealed that with the BNSC having paid out, all payments are expected to been finished early this week. Payments to players started last Thursday.
Clashes over the late payment of the Zebras players’ debts reached crisis point when the players threatened to boycott the past edition of the COSAFA Castle cup that was played earlier this year in South Africa.
 BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane confirmed in an interview with Sunday Standard that they indeed paid players outstanding allowances. 
‘’I can confidently tell you that after lengthy negotiations between the BFA hierarchy and the BNSC, the zebras players are finally receiving their outstanding allowances,” Mpatane confirmed.
“Over the past few months, there have been a series of meetings between the Football association, the ministry and BNSC where the association pushed for players’ debts to be paid,” he said. 
Mpatane said the association wanted the issue resolved quickly as it believes ‘this is a key step in keeping and having happy players keen to redeem the image and pride of the nation.’
Going forward, Mpatane said the association will monitor, prepare and ensure players payments are made on time. 



Read this week's paper