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Zebras players upset over appearance fees

Just a week before the senior national team is  assembled to commence preparations  for the crucial Africa Cup of Nations(AFCON) qualify against Mauritania, acrimony is already boiling behind doors as players are still awaiting appearances  fees for the Burkina Faso game.

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) is working around the clock to deposit players’ dues otherwise they are set to face another worrying situation with players likely to withdraw their commitment to the national team. Before travelling to Ouagadougou in the first week of October to face bullish Burkina Faso, players missed two vital training sessions demanding to be paid outstanding appearance fees. The situation nearly got volatile as some players were ready to return home.

A month later, BFA find itself battling a familiar problem with players.  The Zebras head coach Major David Bright is expected to call players to camp in preparations for another away game to log leaders Mauritania where a win is needed at all costs. Mauritania is expected to play for a draw after collecting three wins en route, sitting on 9 points.  The Zebras has only one point and still searching for their first win after four games. 

WeekendSport understands that each player receives an appearance fee of P3500 while P 100 is for each day spent in a camp. On one hand, BFA is encouraged to consider modern ways of rewarding players who are called on camp. It is said new modalities like promises of winning bonuses are already in place with west and north countries.

In a recent interview with this publication, FUB secretary general, Kgosana Masaseng said they are happy to have engaged the association together with their overseer, the Botswana National Sports commission(BNSC) on issues concerning national team players welfare. He said from their end, this matter can be best dealt with by laying the engagement rules for each party.

“From 2014, we have been asking the association to consider a contract for the national team players, who shall among other things include, a code of conduct, incentive packages and insurance covers for the players,” he said. He also added that there have been complaints of players before getting injured whilst on national duty and struggled to get assistance. These cases, he said were hard to resolve since there were varying opinions regarding the evidence provided.

Masaseng said from the discussions with both the BFA and BNSC, there is a common ground on what needs to be done going forward. “We are particularly impressed by the attitude of BNSC in dealing with players’ welfare issues. They have promised to share all the necessary information regarding the operations and dynamics of national team duty,” he said. On what role they played during the strike, Masaseng said all they did was to engage each other and offer solutions for now whilst waiting to conclude the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the BFA.

“From our intervention we realized that there was bad blood between the BFA and the players because of trust issues. Once we have the CBA in place, it will cover all issues raised by the players and the concerns from the BFA side. All in all we are happy with the engagement so far,” he concluded.

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