Wednesday, June 12, 2024

No money, more problems for BFL? 

The new premier league season is touted to start before the end of this month but old problems from the just ended season threaten to eclipse it.

The Botswana Football League (BFL), it seems, is yet to pay clubs and individuals their dues from the 2021/2022 league season.

Speaking to this publication, some clubs and award winners from the BFL league awards said they have not been paid.

“We have not received our money yet and there is no communication made regarding when we will be paid. It is utter silence,” one award winner said. The same was uttered by an insider within the Gaborone United camp who intimated that the league champions are yet to receive their prize monies.

In both instances, the sources said it was the first time they had witnessed the current long delays in payments. They stated that usually payment of awards can be processed the night of the awards however; the worst-case scenario is after a week.

On whether or not they knew what could have caused the delay, the sources said the non-payment was due to the Botswana Football League (BFL) being broke. Chief executive officer (CEO) Solomon Ramochotlhwane however says the narrative that the BFL is broke is exaggerated.

While admitting that clubs and award winners were yet to receive their dues, the BFL CEO pointed out that the issue of payment ‘will be attended to in due course.’ He further stated the delays arose because ‘there are processes to be followed in governance more especially when dealing with Corporates.’

“It is not an overnight thing, we will pay,” he said. Ramochotlhwane then explained that the delay in payments was due to ‘in house’ problems. He said they are in talks with clubs regarding the delay, something which some clubs and award winners have tossed aside as being far from the truth.

Pressed to comment on whether this does not mean the BFL is indeed broke as sources said, the BFL CEO said: “We are not broke. Those are false reports. We signed the payment contract on Monday for the awards. Decisions around money take time.”

He then added that the BFL is run by responsible people and it will make decisions in the interest of football and not to please everyone. “We have to understand that we cannot all make decisions. One way or another, when a decision is made it is not all who will be happy with it more especially our fellow Batswana. We are not here to impress anyone but to do what is appropriate,” the BFL CEO said.

While the BFL CEO is adamant that the league will pay soon, his optimism is not shared by all those waiting for their monies. For them, having to wait this long without any pay nor communication from the BFL does not bode well. For now, all they can do is wait and see whether the BFL will indeed pay before the new season kicks off.


Read this week's paper