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FUB slams docile BFA

Botswana Football Association (BFA)’s ambitious attempt to tighten screws on defaulting Premier League clubs has been vehemently rivalled by Footballers’ Union of Botswana (FUB) who have taken many turns to strongly condemn the local football body for failing to protect the rights of the players.

FUB’s primary mandate is to advocate for the welfare of local players.  FUB’s latest outbursts are triggered by the association that is seen to be trying to operate by the book when barring football clubs  from signing and selling players when they have accrued multiple of debts.
BFA released a circular late last year warning clubs especially that are failing to normalise their financial situation to forget about recruiting new players in this current transfer window.

The BFA through its head of secretariat Nfolo Nfolo said it is imperative that clubs adhere to the terms and demands of club licensing. “ This communique serves to inform all regional football association that as per the club licensing regulations, teams playing in the premier league having overdue payables ( in terms of employee remunerations and tax levies) shall not be allowed to register new players effective the January transfer window…” part of the BFA letter reads.

However, this communication has rubbed FUB the wrong way. They are of the view that the association’s priorities are misplaced. The body first contend that the association‘s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) is malfunctioning since its inception in 2017. FUB says BFA cannot suspend clubs from doing business when they too, fail to urgently address football contractual disputes.

“ While it is important for us to acknowledge the establishment of Dispute Resolution Chamber, it is however with utter dismay that we noted that since its establishment , the DRC has not fully lived up to our expectations by failing to achieve its mandate to the detriment of players. It is common cause that football contractual disputes are urgent in nature and their resolution must be treated as such. However, this has not been the case as we have disputes that were reported as far back as May of last year and even up to today the judgement are yet to be released,” FUB secretary general Kgosana Masaseng said.

FUB argues that BFA‘s implementation of the said circular can only be valid and fully executed if the judgments are released well on time. “Other than that it is wishful thinking,” FUB argues. FUB further says that they are seriously disappointed by the association and its structures for failing dismally to protect the right of players and this is uncalled for. “We are disappointed that the BFA is failing dismally to take the interest of players to heart. Furthermore, lack of supervision on the part of BFA as the custodian of the game is worrisome,” Masaseng said.

BFA sees the need to traverse the long route of football commercialization and it is why they are busy striving to enforce all regulations of club licensing. It however appears that the association is barely scratching the club licensing surface. To date, it is reported that of the 16 premier league clubs, only 5 have fully satisfied the requirements of club licensing. These are; Township Rollers, BDF XI, Police XI, Jwaneng Galaxy and Orapa United.

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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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