Saturday, September 26, 2020

Tough road ahead for institutional teams

There was a time whereby a year would hardly pass without an institutional team winning a trophy, either in the Premier League or in one of the major tournaments, such as the Coca-Cola Cup. On several occasions, the institutional teams would play each other in the finals.

While other institutional teams were winning the league, others would be finishing in reputable positions.

Nowadays it seems they hardly even make it to the finals of major tournaments and, in the league, they go as far up as only the fourth position.

The last institutional team to win the league championships was Police XI four seasons ago when it was still under the sponsorship of cellular company Mascom. Since then Police XI have to struggle to finish in the top eight.

Also, the last institutional team that won the Coca-Cola Cup was BDF in 2004 when they defeated the then untouchable Mogoditshane Fighters. Another institutional team, Prisons XI, was relegated three seasons ago and they are struggling to make it back into the elite league.

There was a time, especially in the late 90s and the few years later down the line, when institutional teams were untouchable and one wonders what the problem could be.

Some teams, like Mogoditshane Fighters, Tasc, Continental Aces, and Wonder Sporting Club, were also once institutional and were doing well in their respective leagues.

Following furor from community teams who were saying that institutional teams had an unfair advantage over them, institutions were ordered to own one team.

Police ceased to own Wonder while BDF XI had to ditch Tasc and Mogoditshane Fighters. Both Fighters and Tasc were doing well then. Fighters won several league and Coca-Cola titles while Tasc won the Coca Cola Cup.

Both teams have since been relegated and are campaigning in the dusty First Division.

Their elder brothers, BDF XI and Police XI, are the ones still campaigning in the elite league. Some people thought both Police XI and BDF XI would continue to hammer from all angles because most support would go to them.
BDF XI and Police also have the best facilities other teams can only dream of and that on its own is advantageous to them.

It does not look like any one of these teams are serious contenders for the league title this season. But community teams are already leading the pack and one of them might walk away with the title.

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