Botswana Football Association (BFA) had to call an emergency meeting on Wednesday this week to address the taxing Botswana Meat Commission Football Club (BMC FC) saga. The club is currently embroiled in transition drama that saw them fail to honour a mid-week premier league encounter against a struggling Mochudi Centre Chiefs.
In an out of court settlement, the National Executive Committee (NEC) therefore called the two teams, Gilport Lions and BMC FC, to address the matter where an agreement was reached that Gilport Lions shall assist BMC FC with necessary documentation as the changeover rolls on. A month ago, BMC FC had contested that their team was wrongly sold to new investors after the abattoir BMC, decided to cease sponsoring the team. The disgruntled BMC consequently registered the matter before the High court in an effort to win their team back.
The team was sold to New Era (school) owner, Esfandier Ghodrati who too, sold the club to Gilport Enterprises. Gilport Enterprises later changed the club’s colours and name with the knowledge that they had acquired the club legally. Sources say the association, with full knowledge that Kelesitse Gilika, the owner of Gilport Lions conceded the defeat, requested him to help those who want the club without being impatient.
The BFA spokesperson, Tumo Mpatane confirmed the meeting and said a press statement will be released regarding the resolution. “Yes , I can confirm that there was an emergency meeting on Wednesday but a press release will be issued regarding the proceedings,’’ he said.
However, this publication learnt that it was also agreed that the transition period of the club should not disturb league fixtures. At the time of going to print, it was not clear whether the premier league board would assemble to punish the club for missing the Tuesday fixture. In October, the founders of BMC believed that due process was not adequately followed when selling their club.
‘‘Further, the transfer, alienation and/or change of name of BMC FC can only be made after a membership meeting is held where a resolution is passed to amend the constitution of the social club. No such meeting was held,’’ they argued in the letter. They said such amendment was necessary that the constitution be presented to the registrar of societies to approve and sanction any amendments, if satisfied.
Members also argued that they diligently searched the file of the social club kept at the Registrar of Societies and failed to find any authorization from the registrar on constitution amendment to effect the alluded to changes. With the absence of such a file, members believed that ‘‘there was never any such amendment of the constitution of the social club to transfer, alienate and sell or even to change the name of BMC to Gilport.’’
They therefore believed the whole process was flawed and most importantly infringed the provisions and the spirit of the social club constitution. The owners admitted that Gilport Lions affiliated and assumed the status of BMC FC in the Botswana Football Association structures on the understanding, but mistaken belief that the football club was lawfully sold and/or alienated either by BMC or the social club to Ghodrati. It was their argument that such affiliation was wrongful, was of no force and effect and accordingly ought to be set aside and have successfully settled the matter out of court.
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.