The Botswana Football Association (BFA)‘s decision to reinstate the Premier League Management Committee with immediate effect has rubbed the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Board the wrong way.Following the controversial acts and irregularities that played themselves out in the open at BPL office last week, resulting in one planned game being aborted and the league board divided, the BFA early this week moved swiftly to reinstate the long lost Management Committee to address fixtures.
A decision that the BFA thought as a cool down remedy that would restore order at the BPL office. Nevertheless it seems the fire has not been put out yet, if anything, BFA has further angered the BPL board. Allegations reaching this publication suggest that sometime this week, the BPL wrote a letter of displeasure to the BFA president about the recent unfolding developments. However, BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo has denied receiving such a letter from BPL.
Meanwhile, it appears that the BPL board feels that BFA acted on emotions when they decided to reinstate the committee without even involving them. A story carried by BG Sport last week questioned why the BPL office did not have a Management Committee despite the fact that the BFA constitution demanded such. The Management Committee should be responsible for the control and administration of the premier league competitions. The club chairmen were conflicted when it came to issues of fixtures and as such, they were now pointing fingers at the BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thabo Ntshinogang for turning BPL office into a one- man show.
Nevertheless this week, when BFA saw the need to bring back the Management Committee, the BPL was visibly thrown to the dogs by the football mother body. The BFA leadership even issued a press statement, apologizing for the controversial aborted Miscellaneous and Township Rollers game. The BFA National Executive Committee even assured that they are investigating the matter and will get to the bottom of it and remedial actions will be taken if necessary.
On the other hand, the BPL office never publicly apologized. In fact, prior to the aborted game, Ntshinogang had written a letter to Miscellaneous telling them that there shall be consequences if they did not attend the scheduled game. He had at the time seen nothing wrong with the decisions his office made prior to the cancelled game. It remains unclear if BFA feels that BPL is to blame for the outcome of events or not. Nevertheless the tricky part is that section 12.5.3 of the BFA constitution that speaks of powers of the premier league board says that the board is responsible for the appointment of the management committee headed by the Premier league Executive Director.
According to Mfolo, the Executive Director in this regard is Ntshinogang. Quizzed if BFA was not stepping on BPL toes more so that the board as per the constitution should appoint their own committee, Mfolo was defensive arguing that when things go wrong, they have the authority to act within the best interest of football and with that, they had to intervene.
BG sport has it in good authority that BPL was not present when BFA met with the reinstated Management Committee this Monday. In fact those who were present at the meeting have told this publication that the meeting was very brief and only informing them that they are now back at BPL. The man who is heading the committee, Booker Bannister, when reached for comment said that BFA has not given them any details as to what they need his team to do. “I feel I cannot comment at the moment because we are yet to be told why we have been reinstated and what it is that we need to do,” he said.
The Management Committee was dissolved in 2017 when Rapula Okaile was the BPL board chairman. It was alleged at the time, that there were wrangles between the BPL board and the Committee. The board felt the committee was disrespecting their presence while the management committee also demanded respect from the league board. Mfolo however said that they will be following the constitution this time around and if all want to protect the image of football, they have to find common ground and operate in a manner that will prevent the BPL’s name to be brought into disrepute.
Beleaguered Mochudi Centre Chiefs are likely to lose three points after failing to honour a fixture against Miscelleneous Sporting club in Serowe last week. Magosi who have been on a free fall since last season are seemingly descending into further chaos.
Losing three points will come as a harsh and weakening blow to the former Kgatleng Giants. The team management are alleged to have failed to pay players their full salaries after their impressive showing against the reigning league champions, Township Rollers last week. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) Play Rules and Regulations are clear regarding the abandonment of games.
Clause 8.2 of the regulations that addresses the stoppage and abandonment of games states that, “Where a game is abandoned on account of misconduct of one of the participating teams, the guilty team shall lose the game with three points and two goals.” The play rules further state that the three points awarded to the other team will not be regarded as soft points.
Reached for comment on the matter, the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Ntshinogang said the matter was expected to go before the league’s Disciplinary Committee this past Thursday. This means Chiefs are likely to know their fate by today (Friday). Ntshinogang could not speak further on the matter as the case has been passed to the BPL DC. Magosi are currently occupying position 12 with seven points after eight games.
Losing three points means the popular Kgatleng outfit might go down two or three places. Meanwhile, Miscelleneous have decided to wait for judgement from the BPL DC regarding the matter. In a brief interview this week, Miscelleneous Chairman Seiphetlho Shako said the BPL secretariat will handle the matter and the outcome of the case will guide his team on how they pursue the matter further.
In other matters, Sefhako said his team has since secured a new technical sponsor in the form of Star Set, a satellite television company. Miscelleneous is expected to host BR Highlander at the Serowe sports complex while Magosi is scheduled to face Black Forest at the Molepolole Sports Complex.
The Botswana Premier League this week announced a new partnership with Mitre as its official match ball sponsor. This announcement shocked some BPL clubs who feel the announcement comes after they have already procured balls from different brands.
A document leaked to BG Sport this week indicates that BPL affiliates will be using Mitre match ball for all their competitions. “Because of this, we would like to advise all the clubs not to use any brand in our competitions. Our match officials will bring Mitre balls to all our official matches,” BPL Chief Executive Officer Thabo Ntshinogang said through the leaked document. “The ball we will be using this season is the Mitre Delta FIFA Pro.”
Ntshinogang further explains that the Mitre Delta Pro is widely used especially in the EFL, the largest single body of professional clubs in European football-including EFL, EFL Cup and Check trade Trophy. The BPL boss further explained that the Mitre brand has been used by the EFL for over 40 years. “In 2017 Mitre were unveiled as the football partners of the Football Federation Australia Cup. Mitre is also used in all CAF competitions for the next seven years.”
Through the statement, Ntshinogang further explains: “I would therefore like to remind clubs not to use any other brand at our games other than Mitre.” He said the BPL has since negotiated a deal for the teams to purchase the Mitre balls for P800 each, should they require to do so. Meanwhile, sources from some BPL affiliates teams have expressed their misgivings over the recent announcement.
“How do you seal a deal like this? Clubs are expected to purchase balls for P800.00. That is too much. The average cost of a football unit is P500. And most of the teams need close to 30 balls.” The source further explained that his team has already purchased over 20 balls as the league has already started. “They are making the announcement late into the season. We have not even received our team grants.”