The Botswana Premier League (BPL) has been accused of short changing and disregarding the football technical experts who are often tasked with choosing or selecting the Man of the match in all the 30 games of the season.
The job requires years of experience and expertise in football. However, sources close to the matter have revealed that those who have sat in the BPL Man of the match panel have come and gone after being disgruntled by high ranking officials. “It is not easy work, it requires a certain amount of knowledge and commitment.
“We are required to travel around the country all year round but there are no financial rewards. We are mostly provided with accommodation if we work outside our stations. There are freebees, meals and the opportunity to sit in the VIP section during key games like cup finals but that is about it,” said one of the experts.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the current state of affairs is no longer sustainable. We cannot go on with the gentleman agreement with BPL officials in this regard. “The standard practice in more advanced football leagues see to it that the Man of the match panel is rewarded financially.”
Furthermore, the source said members of the panel are not provided with adequate working conditions, especially during normal league games as they are made to sit among supporters during league fixture. “It is time we are compensated properly because we do our job well.
“Some members of the panel were on duty the whole day during the recent BTC Charity Cup and they were given caps and T-shirts as a token of appreciation. This cannot go on; the BPL must ensure that they acknowledge our work and extend it to the league sponsor.”
The concerned source further explained that the winners of the Man of the match title takes home P1000 and airtime vouchers every week, while members of the panel walk away empty handed. Some of us even sit in the Player of the season panel during the annual BPL awards where the winner walks away with P100 000 while we continue to offer our services for free.
The Man of the match panel is guided by a set of rules that requires them to properly execute their work. The prize winner is solely chosen on the basis of performance including influence in the game. Goal keepers win the prize when they make extraordinary saves including distribution and command of his area. The Man of the match assessment tool which scores players from poor, fair, good, very good and excellent requires the player to have the ability to play with both feet, control and passing, dribbling and feinting, shooting at goal, heading and tackling.
The tool also includes tactical awareness such as role understanding, reading the game, decision making. There is also mental strength attributes including confidence, will power, focus, enthusiasm and leadership. Reached for comment, the BPL Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Ntshinogang said he had sent a response to the BG Sport questionnaire with regards to the matter. The response had not reached BG Sport at press time despite dispatched to him over 24 hours earlier.