When the league kicked off on Friday night with a mouth-watering clash between Township Rollers and Extension Gunners at the National Stadium in Gaborone, one issue which many supporters were in the dark about was whether the games will be shown on television or not. The issue of television rights has dragged from last season with BPL failing to announce who will be the broadcasters for the new campaign. At some stage it was believed that Supersport International has been awarded the rights to broadcast local Premier League but things changed within a blink of an eye. Last week, it was reported that BPL under instruction from Botswana Football Association (BFA) have sent contract proposal to Botswana Television to have a look at it.
Those in the know say that BFA executive prefer the games to be shown on Btv to any broadcaster something which is said to have not pleased some of the Premier League chairmen. The delay in announcing the broadcaster is said to have angered the league’s sponsors Be MOBILE who believe that BPL has dealt with them in bad faith. In all this fingers have pointed towards one man, Bennett Mamelodi who is said to be causing all the confusion because of his personal interests. After avoiding interviews on the matter at times referring this publication to BFA president Tebogo Sebego, Mamelodi finally settled for one on Friday morning.
During the interview, Mamelodi made it clear that he is not going to step down because of accusations from faceless cowards. “People are hypothetical. Just because they cannot do as they please they see me as a distraction. They must come out and tell the football community what I have done in the whole process. They must stop having meetings under the cover of darkness like cowards.
I am aware that there are campaigns even using the media to get me out but I’m not going to be disturbed by that,” said Mamelodi. While there are allegations that Mamelodi wants an international broadcaster to show the league because he has personal interests, he has dismissed the allegations as utter rubbish. “That is nonsense. Let me make it clear that whatever I do, I get the approval from the (Premier League) board. People have their own agendas in the whole deal but they are making me the scapegoat. I have been given a mandate by the Premier League board and I’m going to carry out my duties as per their expectations,” he added. On calls for him to resign, Mamelodi responded in a bullish way, “I’m not going to be derailed by faceless cowards. I’m not going to crack under pressure because I knew what I was getting myself into the day I accepted to come and work here.
I need to stay focused to deliver on my mandate.” BPL chairman Mokganedi Molefe said that they have not received any complaints about Mamelodi. “I’m going to treat those allegations as hearsay and I cannot act on something which I have not received any formal complaint. We’re happy with the job he is doing so far,” said Molefe on Friday.