Former senior national team assistant coach Keitumetse Pio Paul has finally lost a legal battle against Botswana Football Association (BFA). The local gaffer had approached the court to seek relief after he was shown the door sometimes in March 2015. Pio prayed that he be compensated since his contract with the association was prematurely terminated.
He also argued that procedures to dismiss him were not followed and exhausted to the latter. The coach, who is seen as a tough nosed negotiator, also doubled up as the head coach of the national under 23. Among many things, Pio wanted the association to pay him damages amounting to P 363 5130. According to court papers seen by this publication, Paul argued that he be paid P 161 000 which is the total sum of P 7000 as paid over 23 months.
The months were calculated based on Paul’s submission that they formed part of the remainder of his contract. Furthermore, Paul wanted to paid 19 650 as daily allowances since his tenure was terminated before agreed time. Also on monetary claims, the former Notwane SC coach wanted match appearances amounting to P 89.500 for the contract remainder. P 137 000 was another amount he prayed before court that it be paid to him as a travelling expenditure for a course at Germany.
It emerges that Paul based his argument on his belief that he was a permanent employee of the association. Pio Paul argued that his contract was supposed to run alongside that of his superior Peter Butler. The Brighton born mentor, who was the head coach, signed a three year deal that was to expire in 2017.
Paul contended that his employment contract was partly written and partly verbal. He also said that his contract was concluded through the FA’s chief executive officer and was also signed and endorsed by the national executive committee (NEC), a happening that motivated him to believe he was permanent employee. On the other side, BFA says Paul was appointed on a part time basis. The association argued that even the advert clearly indicated that the FA was in pursuit of a temporary employee.
BFA ex-boss Tebogo Sebego took stand to testify that Paul was appointed on a temporary platform. To further affirm this stand, the former president together with one Susan Lawrence, BFA ‘s former finance manager, all agreed that Paul was a temporary employer more because he was a full-time lecturer at North West University in South Africa during the time of appointment. The court would later agree with the association that Paul and his attorneys filed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he was indeed a permanent employee.
In fact, the court agrees that BFA had advertised the position and clearly stated that was part time. “The position will be part time and the services of the appointees will be required when the senior players are in camp. The positions are not remunerated but the appointees will receive current fees and allowances… ” reads part of the advert.
All in all, the court agrees that Paul had no fixed contract with the association therefore he cannot be compensated as a permanent employee. BFA was represented by was represented by Phenyo Sekape of Salbany and Totto attorneys while Maripe attorneys fought in the corner of Keitumetse Paul.
Athletics is one of the sporting activities that for many years has been consistently performing extremely well in international competitions. One of the reasons is the availability of qualified and experienced coaches, who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that they scout talent and develop more athletes.
For the first time after eons, football clubs plying their trade in the elite league are walking in the shadow of the undefined with nothing concrete agreed and on sight before the commencement of the football season.