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BFA takes control of BPL

In what is seen as a stark admission of incompetence at the Botswana Premier League (BPL), the football association has effectively but silently took control of the elite league affairs. This unprecedented move will likely see BFA advocating for review of roles at the league offices.
 

The debate and decision surrounding this takeover is likely to kick start over this weekend as the association closes another chapter at its annual general assembly. The decision comes amid litany of cases at the league board where the head of secretariat, Thabo Ntshinogang is being pushed out few weeks before the commencement of the new football season.

At the back drop of this unfolding change, the premier league house ushered a new leadership that is expected to breathe fresh ideas into a football season that threatens to become dull. The association is said to have been principally concerned by the sudden sulkiness of the elite league sponsor, Botswana Telecommunication Cooperation Limited (BTCL) in the past two months. It is highly maintained at Lekidi Football Centre that the domestic game was not intelligently managed and the premier league’s dirty linen was seen to be washed on the eyes of the sponsors. As things stand, reports claim that the association is working around the clock to meet again with the title sponsors, BTCL. The thinking is that the local network providers be afforded a last minute opportunity to increase sponsorship monies.

BFA’s second assignment is to convince Barclays Bank to also up the ante if they are to stand strong and break the sponsorship football game often times monopolized by network providers. The bank has been lurching on the background of Botswana football since 2015, oozing with confidence that they have the financial muscle to sponsor local football. The bank once tested the same ‘football water’ fours years when sponsoring the one day charity cup tournament famously in the hands of Kabelano charity group. It is further admitted that the Barclays talks were first commenced by the former premier league chairperson Jagdish Shah who prayed that the bank help premier league teams go home with improved profits after match day activities.

 It is indicated that the bank amongst many things, had committed to pay stadium levy of premier league clubs and other administrative costs of the league house. It is an open secret that the stadium levy issue has haunted premier league clubs from way back. Sources told this publication that the league is trying to make strides particularly on this matter.  As things stand, premier league teams have been encouraged, through club licensing requirement, to pay 25 percent of gate takings to the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) as a stadium levy. The board passionately believed the 25 percent levy is draining the teams and were instead proposing to pay a lump sum fee to the sports commission for the entire season.

Jagdish Shah, premier league board chairman, once told the press that, “the board is considering paying a lump sum figure to the sports body for the whole season and consequently dealing away with the 25 percent.” He knew he had completed this Barclays deal.  Sources claim, however, that the association is said to have reviewed new terms in the contract to position the bank to take over as the title sponsors.
 

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The Crown Prosecution Service said the charges were discontinued after a key witness withdrew their involvement.

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

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With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.

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