Munomutapa African Broadcasting Television (MABC) has allayed fears and skepticism surrounding the multimillion sponsorship of the Premier League.
Already, some people within the soccer circles are wondering how the company can splash $9.5m (P 65 m) for a league like that of Botswana that is still amateur.
In addition people are wondering how such millions can be splashed while the company is not yet operational and is in effect not advertising any goods or services it produces.
The Chairperson of MABC, Oscar Kubara, told Sunday Standard in a press conference that the decision they made was purely business and would be hoping for a business return.
He said the company might not be on air yet but that did not stop them from sponsoring soccer in Botswana. Kubara added that it took his company a year and a month to be given a licence and they cannot just be immediately operational.
“I would like some of you to visit our offices, everything is in place and we are working hand in hand with the Premier League and everything is going well,” he said.
Kubara added that there have been many negative media reports about his company and urged soccer loving people to desist from taking such reports into consideration. He said MABC is already operating in 13 countries and that should not create a doubt that they would not make it in Botswana.
Already many Premier League team officials are happy with the amount of money splashed by the company, but some are worried about its sustainability.
“P65 Million is a lot of money and surely can take our football to another level, but the question is for how long? There is no such television station in Botswana and they are already at the fore front with chunks of money. We should be happy but also careful. When companies splash such a lot of money they are looking for something big in return, like mileage and even profits but is MABC after that and is it viable?” asked one soccer official who preferred anonymity.
On the other hand, Kubara made it clear that his company would ensure that all the professional standards are met and failure to do so would result in punitive measures. He said they want the smooth running of the league with little hassles. With a lot of money at stake there are concerns that they will be dirty dealing behind the scenes. Already during the just ended Mascom sponsored league there were always reports of dissatisfactions from some teams accusing others of foul play. Even the referees were always in the spotlight because they were deemed to be biased.
The league is scheduled to kickoff on October 4 in a game between Extension Gunners and Mochudi Centre Chiefs. It is starting at a time when there is already a stadiums crisis. Several stadiums in the country are facing major face-lifting, leaving only a few available. Premier League chairperson, Mokganedi ‘Mike’ Molefhe, told Sunday Standard that the shortage of grounds is a challenge faced by the football fraternity and expressed hope that everything will be in place when the league finally kicks off next weekend.