Monday, February 26, 2024

Is the end nigh for the BPL Board as we know it?

On the 20th of July, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Executive Committee (NEC) finally decided to suspend the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Board. Finally, the BFA NEC had had enough of the antics of its Premier League structure. Their rap sheet, though largely until then was largely ignored, was growing longer by the day. Their list of misdemeanours included was growing endlessly. Defying sponsors wishes and condoning a match between Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Jwaneng Galaxy, inviting the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) to interfere in football matters, refusing to obey lawful instruction as well as continued interference with the BTCL who are the league sponsors. And then came that straw that finally broke the camel’s back.

On the fateful Wednesday in question, the BPL served the BFA with court papers, and the BFA finally reacted. In one afternoon seating, the BFA NEC finally took a bold step and slapped its rogue structure with a suspension. As if not enough, now, the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Board may now be facing a long overdue facelift, come the BFA Annual General Assembly (AGA). In a move likely to change the face of the BPL Board, the Nhabe Regional Football Association (NRFA) has tabled a motion to amend the constitution and have the BPL Board membership voted for. The motion is expected to be discussed at the forthcoming BFA AGA billed for the 13th of August. Should the delegates at the BFA AGA adopt the proposed amendment, membership of the BPL Board will be reduced to seven positions, all of which will be voted for. If adopted, the constitutional amendment will bring to an end a system where the BPL Board is comprised of the chairmen of the sixteen clubs in the Premier League (BPL), a system which is largely blamed for the current mess in local football.

According to the NRFA Chairman Kgato Motai, who tabled the motion of amendment, this move is necessary to bring back stability unto local football. “The automatic adoption of the chairmen of the teams in the BPL Board is counterproductive. A lot of these chairmen are there to serve their own interest and this is hurting football. They are conflicted. What we now need is for these chairmen to concentrate on the management of their teams and for some independent people to run the league,” Motai explained. According to the NRFA Chairperson, the amendment will not only ensure the BPL is flawlessly run, but will also facilitate the autonomy of the BPL, which the current board has craved for so long. On whether the amendment will not sideline the chairmen of clubs, Motai replied in the negative. “If the amendment is adopted by the assembly, it will bring the BPL on the same line as the BFA NEC, First Division as well as the Regional Associations. They are all run by boards that are elected and the BPL is the only one that does not have an elected board. In all these, especially the first division where chairmen of clubs are not in the boards, things are running smoothly and the chairmen of clubs are not sidelined.

This will be the same with the BPL,” Motai explained. Reached for comment, BFA NEC member Oathusa Baoke said should the above motion be adopted, it will mark the end for the BPL Board as it is now. According to Baoke, as it stands, the BPL Board’s fate will now be decided by the assembly. Baoke concurred with Motai that the amendment may finally bring the rogue structure under control. The BFA AGA will be held on the 13th of August, barely two weeks from now. 


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