The President of Township Rollers Club Jagdish Shah, who doubles as Chairman of Botswana Premier League (BPL) board of governors is still at the helm of BPL top seat, past his announced three -month temporary term.
Shah was appointed as BPL interim chairman in March 2018 following the resignation of former Chairman, Rapula Okaile. At the time of his appointment, the BPL leadership had announced that Shah will be leading the BPL board for only three months. It was reported during his appointment that the BPL board would after three months go for elections. A year later, Shah is still holding tight to the chairman position and no communication from BPL has been made to this end.
Shah’s appointment as chairman was marred with controversy with the BPL heavily criticized and accused of deliberately bending the rules to accommodate Shah. The BPL board of governors is made up of chairmen from the 16 BPL clubs. The appointment of Shah came as a surprise to some; it was not common that BPL picks a club president to be the board chairman. Some had expected that the board chairman would be picked from the 16 official representing teams as it had been practice in the past.
It was even questioned during the unveiling of Shah why BPL appeared to be rushing to replace Okaile and if there were any pressing issues that needed the immediate attention of a BPL chairman. Some even argued that not much could be done in a short period of three months and advised that perhaps it was wise that BPL brings someone who would be long term to avoid interruption to their decision –making processes.
However, the BPL Vice Chairperson, Solomon Mantswe defended the move saying that Shah brought with him smart experience in football management, a pill that BPL was said to badly need. At the top of the list, Shah was assigned to assist in bringing financial stability at BPL. Being a local business tycoon, Shah has without doubt been leading a successful campaign at Rollers as the team’s main sponsor.
“Yes he was appointed on an interim basis when Okaile resigned from the board around 15th February 2018 and the board has not decided yet on whether they would appoint a new chairperson or appoint Shah on a long term basis,” BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thabo Ntshinogang said in an interview.
Ntshinogang went on to note that Shah is a volunteer just like any other club chairman and not in any way contracted to BPL. The BPL board, he said, appoints the chairman, Deputy Chairman and Treasurer on a two -year term.