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FUB members give league ultimatum

Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) held its ordinary congress last weekend at which a number of players came out strong to voice their displeasure. The players are worried about their welfare, which has not been improving for some time now.

 Speaking to this publication after their closed session, FUB secretary general, Kgosana Masaseng revealed that the players have given the board a new mandate. “You will note that during our last congress in 2017, players instructed the board to look at the issues relating to overdue payables, unilateral termination of contracts and abuse at the work place,” he said adding that they are now happy that there has been some statutory instruments to address the issues raised by players.

 FUB, according to Masaseng has fought for the introduction of a standard contract to curb unfair treatment meted on players and have also seen the establishment of the National Dispute Resolution Chamber (NDRC), which adjudicates on contractual disputes. To this end, the players gave the board another set of deliverables to work on.  “The congress decided that we must prioritize the issue of full implementation of club licensing that will certainly solve work related issues in our teams,” he said.

Masaseng revealed that the players have made it clear that should clubs continue mistreating them, they (players) do not guarantee that the next league will finish if there is no change to what happened in the just ended season.Official opening the congress, FUB president Onalethata Tshekiso had directed his pot shots to the BPL chairman Jagdish Shah for some unfavourable working conditions in the league under his watch. Tshekiso had decried that as a collective; the league does not care about players but are only interested in them to play regardless of the conditions.

 In his response, Shah said the BPL has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen dialogue and an inclusive and collaborative approach to decision-making amongst football stakeholders. In the spirit of such commitment, he said, the BPL and FUB have identified key areas for collaboration which shall form the foundations for deepening the administrative collaboration and strengthening the mutual commitments on key shared objectives.

 “We consider FUB to be the employee social dialogue partner for employment-related matters concerning professional players.  As the league, we wish to work with FUB with the objective of further enhancing the union’s capacity to effectively service and represent professional footballers,” he said. BPL and FUB have agreed to work on joint initiatives to achieve the objectives including, but not limited to, the rollout of Club Licensing and the enforcement of the Minimum Contract Requirements as per the FIFA requirements. 

“I am happy to report that as from today, (June 1, 2019) we will see the introduction of a Standard Contract in our league. During my term as chairman, I commit to improving the welfare of the players in the league and promise to continue working with FUB to find long lasting solutions to many of the problems faced by players,” revealed Shah who doubles as president of Township Rollers.

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

30th January 2023

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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Clubs petition Zackhem, Jagdish Shah

23rd January 2023

Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.

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P80 million windfall for BFA

9th January 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.

The Forward 3.0 funds – to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.

According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.

“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,” Infantino noted.

The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.

“A contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and referees’ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,” the report indicated.

FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.

Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.

For the specific projects – in the case of Botswana and Namibia – there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.

The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.

When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; “Ours is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.”

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