Lesego Galenamotlhale has finally won a legal battle against former club Orapa United in what has become a landmark case that was reported by Footballers’ Union of Botswana (FUB) to National Dispute Resolution Chamber (NDRC).
This case was the first to be heard since the establishment of this judicial body in 2018, but it remained pending for quite a considerable period as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
One Lesego Galenamotlhale had reported the matter to FUB after he received a termination letter dated December 18, 2018 from Orapa United. The release letter informed Galenamotlhale that his contract was prematurely terminated after sustaining an injury in August of 2018 in a friendly match between his team and Police XI at Otse.
He was later to argue that his two year contract, which was initially supposed to end in January 2020, was terminated without just cause or sporting just cause. After a series of its correspondences with United, FUB later complained that the team has continued to ignore them and in return opting to continue unlawfully terminating players’ contracts against FIFA’s principles of creating contractual stability.
Reports claim that Orapa did not bother to engage the union further and it was then that the matter was first referred to BFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber late last year. Galenamotlhale claimed payment for the remainder of his contract as compensation.
He claimed balance of sign on fee amounting to P 50 000, P 12 000 as balance of wages for July to December 2028, severance benefit and bonus payment.To this end, in its argument to NDRC, FUB prayed for an order compelling United to compensate the player for the remainder of his contract.
Parallel to this process, Galenamotlhale who had no legal representative argued that he must be paid the 12 months left on his contract, according to FIFA article 21 and 67 paragraph 1 of the FIFA Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber conditions for professional players.
Orapa was therefore asked to pay a total of P 113 000 for the remainder of the contract.The club was asked to pay the player in full not later than 30 November 2020.When asked why they opted to report the matter to NDRC, FUB Secretary General Kgosana Masaseng said, in 2019 there was little cooperation from the club’s side.
On the merits of the case, Masaseng said as FUB, they felt that the unlawful termination of players’ contracts was designed to damage the players standing in the eyes of future potential players.
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.