Saturday, July 20, 2024

Team trimming is not ball

The Botswana football’s intertwined organisations being the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the Botswana Football League (BFL) are expected to rescind their decision to down size the premier league teams.

The decision to reduce the teams has since drawn both the BFA and BFL some stick. The decision was allegedly taken arbitrarily without the agreement of the national league clubs, being premier league and first divisions.  

Both the national leagues have since petitioned the BFL to withdraw the decision that is about to bring turmoil within football structures.

“There are two options, the boycotting of the league matches or the high court way seeking interdiction to put the idea at bay,” premier league shareholders warned.

According to information reaching this publication, thirteen (13) teams out of sixteen (16) in the premier league have signed a petition to BFL in disagreement with the regulation to relegate four teams and downsize the league.

“We have signed the petition. Twelve teams have signed the petition. BDF did not sign because their representative was engaged by the time the petition was sent to the BFL. In total 13 teams are in disagreement,” said Township Rollers president, Bafana Pheto. He said the only three that did not sign are Gaborone United, Police XI and VTM.

Pheto said in their petition they have cautioned the BFL to treat the matter as urgent and respond within a reasonable time. “If they down reply us in seven days shareholders will meet and map the way forward because this issue was rejected at both BFL ordinary and BFL special assemblies.

He said the expectation is for the BFL to have counsel in their minds and do what teams are advocating for.

Sunday Standard Sport is further informed that the decision to relegate four teams is also not popular with some BFA national executive committee members.  

Those advocating for the reduction of the premier league teams argue that the elite league will be economical to run and it will also be competitive. The nonconformist of the idea reason that it will reduce player’s game time and it will have bad impact on the national team performance. 

 Independent BFL board member Tebogo Sebego has written a letter to the BFA seeking legal intervention on the matter. Sebego asked the BFA legal office to intervene as the issue ‘has the potential to bring our game into disrepute.’

He goes on to say ‘the inclusion of Clause 7 in the BFL Competition Rules 2023 is unlawful’ as ‘it had not followed due process outlined by both the BFA and BFL constitutions.’

Sebego then points out to the BFA that clause 8.4 of the BFL constitution states that any change to the number of teams relegated or promoted ‘may only be implemented if duly adopted at a general meeting by a special resolution (75% majority).’

He also goes on to add that the decision also goes against clause 17.5.1.2 of the BFA constitution. According to the clause, the National Football League ‘shall be made up of such number of teams as shall from time to time be determined by the NEC upon recommendation by the Botswana Football League.’ He contends that the BFL board and shareholders never approved the decision and can therefore not be legal.

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