The recent advertisement in the newspapers by the Botswana Football Association (BFA) calling for expression of interests by companies for the technical sponsor of the national teams has raised eyebrows.
Currently, a local company, All Kasi, has been sponsoring the senior national team for the past two years and their contract ends in August. This then means a local brand that the national team was priding itself with could be lost to big international ones.
When All Kasi came on board almost two years ago, there was no tender and some people are asking questions as to why now.
All Kasi came on the scene when the senior national team was not doing well and were known as the whipping boys of Africa.
A source close to the issue told Sunday Standard that he suspects something in the matter.
“Why is the BFA calling for tenders now instead of negotiating with the same sponsor for a new contract? All Kasi took all the risks to sponsor the Zebras when nobody else was interested. Mind you this is a local company that has employed several Batswana and it should just be encouraged to go on. Do you want to tell me that if big brands like Nike, Puma, Adidas go for tender All Kasi can stand a chance? Definitely not, because these are big companies worth billions of US Dollars,” the source said.
The source also added that since the Zebras qualified for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, somebody wants to hijack the sponsoring process to gain mileage.
“I believe that AFCON was the real opportunity for All Kasi to gain mileage and even to sell themselves and even Botswana to the entire world because millions of people will be watching. But once someone new comes into place that would go up in smoke,” the source said, adding that the government should try by all means to protect local companies as is the case in other countries.
“Look what is happening in England, Umbro is the technical sponsor for the national team and they are not that big compared to others. Since they originate from England they are protected by the Football Association of that country.”
On the other hand, the Technical Director of the BFA, Sonnyboy Sethibe, made it categorically clear to Sunday Standard that they want the best deal for the team.
“We want someone who could come on board and sponsor all our national teams from the under 13s. We are looking for a technical sponsor in areas such as off pitch wear, training and playing,” he said.
On why they decided to go for tender while previously it was not the case, Sethibe said he was not aware of it.
“I am not aware that when All Kasi first came on board there was no tender. What we want is the best for our national teams and if All Kasi does that we will go for them,” he said.
Efforts to get hold of All Kasi were futile at time of going to press as both the Managing and Marketing Directors, Ludo Kemoeng and Barnes Maplanka, were reported to be out of the country on business.