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beMOBILE pulls out of BPL awards

KEY PLAYERS: beMobile will not to sponsor the 2015-16 Premiership awards

The Botswana Premier League (BPL) headline sponsors, Be-mobile has pulled out of the BPL awards and in the process vindicated aspirant Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti’s stance on the crisis at the football administration office.

Letshwiti is annoyed by the current image of football and last week warned that it was a matter of time before much football investors are scared off. Hardly days after sharing his fears, have the title sponsors, Be-Mobile announced it would not be sponsoring the league any longer.

”We have further taken a position not to sponsor the 2015-16 be Mobile Premiership awards ceremony as we believe there is no celebratory mood amid the current mishaps befalling the local football,” a heavily loaded statement from the giant telecommunications company read in part.

The company just like other football stakeholders it has emerged, is irritated by the current goofs in the football panorama, which have characterized local football since March this year, when Ofentse Nato’s defaulter case emanated.

“We have however been deeply concerned about the going-ons at the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and their structure in as far as the be-mobile premiership is concerned,” the loaded statement reads and added that, “as the title sponsor, our wish is for sanity to prevail once again to our beloved football.”  

The statement further reveals that the recently publicly listed company has been watching with keen interest the events unfolding at the Association, especially with issues of financial misconduct, where the corruption bursting DCEC confiscated documents and clamped the football offices amid swelling accusations of financial mismanagement on the suspended BPL CEO Bennet Mamelodi’s part.

“The BFA& BPL must wrap up 2015-16 season and deliver on their contractual obligations, including among others furnishing the title sponsor with end of season report and audited financial accounts for the sponsorship funds.”

This follows accusations being levelled against Mamelodi for running BPL offices under P6 million deficits while monthly grants were not credited to some teams.

Further, the sponsor wants both BPL and BFA to furnish it with “official written confirmation of the 2015-16 season title and individual prize winners.”

The company however is willing to continue partnering with BFA in the next season as they hope that BFA and its structures find a quick resolution to allow for preparations of the 2016-17 season.  

The season is expected to end after the COSAFA finals where both Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers will battle it out for the championship play-off to determine the ultimate winner of the coveted prize of P1 million, the trophy and gold medals.

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

30th January 2023

With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.

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Clubs petition Zackhem, Jagdish Shah

23rd January 2023

Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.

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P80 million windfall for BFA

9th January 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.

The Forward 3.0 funds – to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.

According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.

“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,” Infantino noted.

The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.

“A contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and referees’ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,” the report indicated.

FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.

Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.

For the specific projects – in the case of Botswana and Namibia – there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.

The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.

When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; “Ours is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.”

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