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BPL sitting on football blueprint

Laxity and negligence at the Botswana Premier League (BPL) are said to be frustrating efforts by the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to make the Premier League an independent body which will transition the local game into a professional set-up, WeekendSport has learnt.

The current administration which is preaching football development as their anchor phrase has also broadened the scope to ensure that the elusive riddle of commercialization of football is also met. It is said as early as their first year in office BFA furnished the BPL with a guiding document on which model of commercialization local football can take.

The idea to give them (BPL) a guiding policy was taken as a giant step in ensuring the commercial wing of the association assumes the sovereignty they have been hungry for. Fast forward to now; the BPL is still sitting on those without any updates to the association as to what could be stalling the whole process.

The association according to sources furnished the BPL with five models to ponder on. The models; Socio, classical, Benefactor, Normal Business Owner and the Lease model were all availed for the BPL think tanks to choose from. While the BFA did not want to be seen influencing which model local football could take, the Socio model has always been close to the association’s heart.

The socio model is currently used in Spain with both Barcelona and Real Madrid using the same. It is believed with compliance and following the manual, the local teams could prosper to a point of self-sustainability. The main objective of this system is to increase membership, sponsorship drive and grow the success of the club and include other sporting codes. The BFA believes these are needy areas that should be attended to as soon as possible if the league is to traverse the smooth commercialization route.

The association further believes that with corporate governance lacking in most of the elite teams, this model will compel them to comply. “In this model there is corporate governance and processes by which a company (football team) is directed and controlled. Corporate governance essentially involves balancing the interests of a company's many stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, customers (supporters), suppliers, financiers, government and the community,” a source backing this model said.

Further the model highlights that the Board is elected by delegates at an assembly based on technical expertise and business acumen with a defined mandate. This is what the association under the helm of businessman Maclean Letshwiti wants.Court battles that are synonymous with local football are another factor that prompted the BFA to fast track privatization.

BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo has revealed that they have long furnished the BPL office with all the necessary documents and the expectation was that by now spanners would be at work. “We are still awaiting their response but yes we did avail models to them to see how best to improve our football,” he said.

For his part, BPL CEO Thabo Ntshinogang said they have encountered challenges “here and there”. “There was a committee selected to look at the matter and somehow it became dysfunctional and it will be resuscitated soon and the expectation is that it will then report back to BFA as to what has been the resolution,” he said.

While this model seems to have won the hearts of many, it is said the outright model will only be considered once teams are settled in the socio model. Here, teams will now be sold to investors just like companies. The model idea come with the professionalization gospel which has long been preached in 2008, but the Club Licensing requisite is a hindrance for most clubs.

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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”


By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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