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BOPSSA, BISA merger talks stall

The grand dream of the two associations of Botswana Primary School Sports Association (BOPSSA) and Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) to form one umbrella body called School Sports Association (SSA) has been derailed by sports politics and the finger pointing has now stalled the ‘negotiation process’.

The idea which came to the fore last year in a meeting between the two bodies in Palapye was sought to see school sports soaring to greater heights and create a credible body that will be able to convince sponsors and also seek a sustainable budget from the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC).

However after the preliminary talks in the central capital, nothing official has been drafted.

“Yes the meeting was held, but you would expect us and them to have something formal but there is nothing, besides there could have been a follow up of that agenda item but it hasn’t happened,” said the BISA President Joshua Gaotlhobogwe.

BOPSSA boss, Busani Segweni, who appeared to be the chief architect of the idea has also admitted their failure.

“There is no change, no formal agreement thus far and we will have to move on with our activities,” he said.

When Weekendsport pursued the matter further, highly placed sources who were to sit at the negotiation table painted a disturbing picture of the conflicted parties. They said that the affiliation by the two Associations with different Ministries is the main source of all troubles.

“Politics are that BOPSSA is funded by Ministry of Local Government while BISA is funded by the Ministry of Education and Skills Development and for BOPSSA they feel they don’t need any merger because they are financially stable unlike BISA which is struggling and it appears they don’t need them”.  

It is also said that trade union politics are taking centre stage as the two subscribe to two different unions.

“You must understand that these are teachers. BOPSSA affiliates under BTU while BISA is under BOSETU, so there is an element of superiority and inferiority at play,” noted those who are privy to the developments.

With BOPSSA being financially stable those in the know hint that the Segweni led association has “silently withdrew from the merger negotiations.”

When the leaders were asked about the effects of the politics on the idea the maverick Gaotlhobogwe said “we always differ here and there, its life.” But the diplomatic Segweni dismissed those as “mere corridor talks”. This means the optimism that was expressed last year after Palapye meeting that the athletics competitions will be used as a litmus test to see how the merger will look like before it gets full swing.

“We just have to move on because if we aren’t ready we can’t stop our business otherwise we will attract backlash from our stakeholders,” Segweni said.

The umbrella body which already had a proposed name was expected to address the issue of finance which the two associations have been protesting. BISA normally gets an annual grant of P400, 000 while BOPSSA gets P300, 000 an amount which is far less to maintain their budget hence they end up using it for administrative duties. But with one association they might be given something better to deal with their matter. Reports further indicate that Botswana Tertiary Schools Sports Association (BOTESSA) was earmarked to join the bandwagon. The proponents of the idea say this emanated from a benchmarking exercise carried out at the COSASA games last year.

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BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

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The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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Raphael Varane announces retirement from international football after 10 years of service.

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