The President of Township Rollers FC Jagdish Shah this week accused Botswana Premier League (BPL) of failing to support local teams hence the poor quality in local football.
Shah was speaking during a press briefing held in Gaborone to give feedback on the BPL’s recent visit to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in South Africa. The BPL leadership and local clubs representatives, including Shah were part of the benchmarking delegation.
From their findings, Shah said he is disappointed with the working relationship between local clubs and BPL, which he described as sour hence the sorry state of the domestic league. “We are like orphans to the BPL and our efforts as teams are not even recognized,” Shah said when addressing stakeholders.
In Shah’s view, the BPL needs to introspect so that the local league can grow; he said they continue to battle with issues like ticketing is “We are suffering and queuing everyday for tickets, a day or two before the game, clubs will be out there looking for the tickets. We do not know who is responsible for administering the tickets either, today is BPL, tomorrow someone has been appointed to handle the process, we continue to struggle,” he said.
Shah said both parties, (clubs and the BPL) need to maintain a good working relationship and deliver what could turnout to be an exciting game of football.
The Rollers president said most BPL teams are facing financial constraint, adding that such teams rely heavily on gate takings.
“However, it does not help that the gate proceeds take forever to reach clubs saying there are games that were played a month ago but to this point, the money has not been given out yet.”
Meanwhile, players are not happy and often abandon games because clubs fail to pay them well in time. Their welfare is also at times compromised with games played without adequate medical resources such as ambulances.
According to Shah, the neighboring PSL has the interest of the player at heart and they have made it a priority that they pay insurance premiums for players and club officials. Shah said the PSL gave both the teams and players motivation to play a good game of football during play offs.
Furthermore, the Rollers president urged the BPL to do more in branding football so they attract investors. Despite any financial assistance from the government, Shah said the PSL is considered to be the very best in Africa and ranked 10th in the world.
For his part, BPL acting Chief Executive Officer Thabo Ntshinogang said they are considering to hand over ticketing operations to their clubs, an issue he said will be discussed at board level.
He said the PSL league is well resourced in all areas, infrastructure, human capital and financially hence the reason why do things better than the local side. Ntshinogang said they will also be looking at the structure of the BPL especially the Executive Committee level, this he said will allow easy communication flow.