Some First Division matches were not played over the weekend because referees did not turn up for the games.
Referees Chairperson, Aloysius Sesikwe, said that teams only discovered the absence of referees after they arrived at the match venues.
“We have received the report telling us that referees did not report at the games because they had not been paid and, therefore, had no money,” said Sesikwe.
He alleged that payments accrued from January, February, March and April, in addition to the referees’ mileage fees for their cars, game fees and Coca Cola Cup payments have not been made to the referees.
“Some referees are not working and some are even students at University of Botswana therefore they cannot afford to continue spending while they are not paid,” added Sesikwe.
He said the referees needed to communicate to the authorities, something which he believes they did, that they do not have money to travel to match venues so that teams are informed accordingly to avoid them spending money on travelling to games that will not be taking place.
“The sad thing is that some teams are coming from far, so they should have been informed so that they do not accrue costs on games that are not played,” said Sesikwe.
He added that, as a committee, they are aware that this has, to an extent, tempted some referees to accept bribery, giving as an example a case investigated by the police in Maun where a referee took a bribe.
“I cannot deny that referees get some bribery because we have several cases of referees having been bribed,” said Sesikwe.
He further said they are appealing to the public to stop the criminal behavior, adding that they were going to engage the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS).
Sesikwe said, based on the demand of the referee, they had submitted a proposal for increments to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to motivate and encourage referees in doing a good fair job.
Currently referees are paid P300 per match while assistant referees get P150.