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Gilport Lions risk expulsion

Gilport Lions football club are playing dangerously on and off the pitch. Results are not forthcoming on the pitch but the club’s administrative tatters may provoke the premier league to revoke the club license as the First Instance Body, (FIB) a committee tasked with club licensing compliance tightens screws on non compliant teams.

Information reaching WeekendSport suggests that the team Chairman, Kelesitse Gilika was summoned before the FIB on Monday to show cause why the team’s license should not be annulled. The decision by FIB to engage the team came after Football Union of Botswana (FUB) -on behalf of the players, asked BFA to intervene on the matter.

Gilika is accused of failing to honor contractual obligations of the players. The team failed to pay players’ wages for three months and it’s still struggling to pay players to date. The ambitious chairman was directed to comply with financial obligations as per club licensing regulations. Further, he was asked to produce the team’s revenue streams – an intentional move to ascertain whether the team has the capacity to pay players as per the requisites of club licensing.

Although Gilika was reluctant to field enquiries from this publication on the matter, this reporter understands that he was given a grace period to bring forth the reasons before the FIB acts on the matter. The next meeting date of the body had not been established by the time of going to press.

At the same FIB meeting, Gilika was found guilty of contravening club licensing financial requirements which falls under Category A which is very instrumental in awarding teams licenses. In addition Gilika was slapped with a P10, 000 fine to be paid within 30 days while the other P5000 was suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence during the course of the current campaign.

During late last year’s meetings between FUB and the team it was agreed that the club will pay players’ October salaries by the 19th of December. The furious players who had forced the team’s premier league games to be suspended indefinitely demanded that their November dues be paid end of February.

“This time around it is a judicial body directing the team to pay the salaries unlike in the past where it was just agreement between them and FUB. Now it is binding because failure to do so will be contempt,” said a source. This publication has further learnt that as a development to the directive, the team wrote to the premier league office to divert their monthly P50,000 grant to FUB accounts so that the players could be paid.

“I don’t think it will be necessary for me to divulge the details of that to third parties,” BPL CEO Thabo Ntshinogang said when asked about the matter. The team’s wage bill is currently at P113, 000 according to a source. It was slashed from last season’s P250, 000 owing to bills. The highest paid at the team is earning “over P10k but not above P15k, while the lowly paid got a little over P1000,” revealed a source. 16 out of 25 players terminated their contracts with the team. The team is currently languishing at the bottom of the premier league table with four points from 11 rounds of play. They lost nine games, drew once and also won one game.

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