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TAFIC irked by BPL

Struggling Francistown outfit Tafic Sporting Club have registered their displeasure and disappointment with the Botswana Premier League (BPL) office that their monthly grants are irreconcilably distributed. The club has let known of their concerns and frustrations through a letter on 25th February 2020.

The letter bearing the signature of the Club Chairperson, Carlos Sebina, reads in part, “Our concerns emanate from the inconvenience caused by the current lack of monthly whereby we are unable to plan and execute our administrative functions including contractual and welfare obligations among others.”

It further reads: “This said lack of consistent grants is adversely affecting our relationship with other stakeholders like players, teams, service providers etc. Our expectations from Botswana Premier League are regular monthly grants to facilitate efficient running of the club.”
The club is asking for immediate intervention. WeekendSport has however learnt that monthly grants of P 25 000 were last dispersed in January of this year. All the while, the club’s letter is yet to be replied but there is a strong feeling on the ground about the motive of the club.

Top officials at the premier say the club has been part of the decision taken in as far as grants are concerned. It is however reported that Tafic is one of the few clubs frowning upon the decision taken by the association to share the recently received P400 000 grant with a consultant engaged by the league.  The consultant, Erol Dickson received P 200 000 from the league as payment while the 16 BPL teams were made to share the remaining P 200 000.

The clubs were aggrieved that the association could pay a consultant such an exorbitant fee in the face of the ballooning debts of the league. The clubs were of the view that Dickson should in fact be relieved of his duties as his job is insignificant at Lekidi Football Centre. They feel that the money going into the pocket of this consultant is too much and can be used to solve their administrative problems.

Meanwhile, the league board had previously shown maturity at a time when the title sponsors, Botswana Telecommunications (BTC) decided to cut sponsorship money.  The board went for a retreat and consulted further on the way forward.  In many moments in their meetings, the issue of prize money together with monthly grants cropped up.  It is said that it came to a point where a choice and a vote had to be made between prize money and grants. Some clubs wanted prize money at the end of the season while others felt that grants be increased to administer themselves until season end.

It ultimately came to the fore that clubs like Township Rollers, Gaborone United, Jwaneng Galaxy and Orapa United felt that prize money be budgeted at the end of the season. The remaining 12 teams all wanted grants to be increased and do away with prize money. As it stands, each premier league club is entitled to a P35 000 monthly grant. Tafic is finding it difficult to cope with the unchecked football stress of the elite league. While fighting for grants, they are also faced with an uphill battle to survive the relegation. They are currently on spot number 14, after a round of 19 games. Painfully, they have only collected 15 points.

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