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BMC FC sale challenged

Surviving members of the Botswana Meat Commission Football Club (BMC FC) are challenging the authenticity of the route in which their team was sold to different investors until it reached a stage where its name and identity were changed.

The matter, to this date is handled by legal representatives of these members. In a letter seen by this publication, addressed to BMC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale, Esfandier Ghograti, Gilport Lions Enterprise and Botswana Football Association (BFA), the concerned members argue that  “BMC  cannot own a football team and let alone sanction that a football team be transferred to another entity”.

According to information reaching WeekendSport, the club was first registered under the Societies Act sometimes in early 70’s. But it appears the club found it difficult to source sponsors for itself hence writing to BMC Company for help. It is further revealed that the company acceded to the team’s plea and immediately registered it under its social welfare clubs. Under this umbrella body of social welfare, there were other clubs including softball and darts.

But when the principal company began to endure financial challenges, it took a decision to stop financing its teams. That is when BMC FC was tossed to available investors.

The team was therefore transferred to Esfandier Ghodrati by BMC Company around June 2013. The new owner and investor, was advised that he was at liberty to engage his own management committee to run the club and to even change the name of the club (if he so wishes).

However, it appears the relationship between Ghodrati and BMC FC would not bear fruits. Ghodrati therefore sold and transferred the club to Gilport Enterprises (Pty) Ltd trading as Gilport Lions. Gilport has now assumed the status of BMC in Botswana Football Association, playing in the elite league football. Now the founders of BMC team believe 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 argue in the letter.

They say such amendment was necessary and that the constitution was to be presented to the Registrar of Societies to approve and sanction any amendments if satisfied.

Members also argue that they diligently searched the file of the social club kept with the Registrar of Societies and failed to find any authorisation from the Registrar on constitution amendment to effect the changes alluded to.

With the absence of such a file, members believe 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 believe the whole process was flawed and most importantly infringed the provisions and the spirit of social club constitution.

They however admit that Gilport Lions, now owned by Kelisitse Gilika, 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 is their argument that such affiliation is wrongful, of no force and effect and accordingly ought to be set aside.

The members have further challenged that all parties involved when the club was transformed “to restore forthwith BMC FC to the social club and by extension to its affiliation and status in the BFA and the elite league”. They have therefore set a deadline for November 11.

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