Sunday, September 19, 2021

League drought tempts BFA to hold mini league

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership and some of the football leaders are at loggerheads on the how the league season can be played. 

Though the BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane denies this the association’s national executive committee is said to be eager to see a mini league being played. 

It is not true that the BFA NEC has proposed that the league be played in mini league format” said Mpatane. He said the BFA Bounce Back Committee and the BFA competitions committee will furnish the proposal for the league games. 

“As it stands, the draft that has been availed does not include a mini league format,” said Mpatane.

He said the league will follow the usual manner as per the BFA play rule and regulations unless if there are circumstances that make it impossible. 

On whether the BFA NEC has authority nor power to change the league season he answered: “The BFA NEC makes decisions on advice and recommendations of the organizing committee from BFA competitions and the medical committee. The NEC has powers to decide the place, dates and the number of teams participating in the BFA competitions in terms of article 35.7 of the BFA competitions.” 

This is contrary to Gaborone United (GU)’s chief financier, Nikolas Zakhem who charged: “I told them in a meeting that I am against the mini league. The league must be played properly,” dismissing Mpatane’s claim that there has never such thought by BFA leadership. 

According to information gathered by this publication, the mini league was to be played on one leg only unlike the usual home and away format. Though the league was to be played unusual it was to relegate and promote teams from junior leagues.  

On why he is against the mini league Zac said: “The competition must be fair, winning and losing must be fair. It won’t be proper to relegate or promote teams after playing one round” “As long as I am still at GU, we won’t allow that and GU will not play the mini league” Zac took a firm stand. 

Another premier league chairperson who did not wish to be identified was also against the mini league.

“The BFA NEC doesn’t have those powers to decide on the league season nor format. It will be unconstitutional. If they want to league season change, they must call BFA extra ordinary general assembly to change the league season. The BFA NEC do not have the power to decide on the league season” observed the anonymous chairperson. 

He further observed that the mini league will bring more trouble to the local game because teams won’t agree to be relegated from football activity that is not constitutional.  “league season is the creation of the BFA statutes” noted. 

He rhetorically asked: “Who will be playing in CAF competitions, teams that have won the mini league that will be a joke.” The NEC is directly telling the BPL that they are not autonomous like the BFA assembly was told, the person opined further. 

In October the BFA general assembly rejected the motion of change of season which the BFA NEC has proposed to change league season from August – May to February – November. In March Botswana will be clocking 1 year without local official league matches.

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