The continuing sidelining of institutional teams is not going down well with the office of the Police Commissioner, Sunday Standard has learnt.
Information reaching Sunday Standard is that high ranking officials at Police are considering permanently pulling out their teams from all competitive leagues.
The latest straw was a letter written to their First Division team, Wonder Sporting.
Wonder Sporting was instructed to desist from using any form of help from the Police. They were notified following complaints from some First Division teams that felt the team was getting unfair advantage over them.
One area the First Division teams complained about was the transport that the Police were offering to Wonder Sporting in almost every match they play, while community-based teams had to fend for themselves.
The First Division League Chairman, Charles Chilisa, then wrote a letter to the team, saying what Wonder Sporting was doing was against the agreed principles between the Institutional and Community teams.
During the standoff between the institutional and community teams a few years ago, it was agreed that only one institutional team should get the assistance.
Currently, Police are helping Police XI while the Botswana Defence Force is helping BDF XI. The Prisons Department, on the other hand, helps Prisons XI that is currently sweating it out in the First Division. The warning to Wonder has led high ranking Police officials to convene a meeting to chart the way forward.
According to sources, the Police Department feels that the immense contribution they are making to local football is going unnoticed.
“This is a serious issue and is given utmost attention. Do not be surprised one day when you hear that there would not be a single Police team competing in the country. Officials feel that their teams have been unfairly treated and it is enough and most are calling for Police teams to be immediately pulled out,” the source said.
On the other hand, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Administration), Ikothaeng Bagopi, did not hide his disappointment at the way their teams are being treated.
He said if the situation persists they would have no choice but to pull their teams out.
“At Police, we are not the only ones unhappy with the situation. Other disciplined forces like BDF are also not happy. Just look around and see the contribution we have made to local soccer, but we are still not wanted. If people do not want you, the best way is to go out, and the reason this issue has reached our offices shows that we are really concerned. Just look now at the multitudes of employees Police teams have employed and if we pull out many are going to be affected,” Bagopi said.
Bagopi called for common ground between the football officials and officials of disciplined forces for the benefit of football. He said the current scenario is discriminatory.