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Clubs express concern over Debswana deal

FRANCISTOWN: First Division North (FDN) clubs have expressed concern over the management of the Debswana sponsorship at a meeting held at Kutlwano Police over the weekend.

While the issue of financial support was not on the agenda, clubs wanted the matter tackled, arguing the funding was mismanaged.

Debswana funded the two First Division leagues for P6 million over three years.  FDN additional committee member, Mpezeni Sambandawe said the First Division would be lucky to retain the sponsorship.

“It would be by God’s grace if we retain the sponsorship. There is clearly no accountability and there has never been an audit for the sponsorship.  A lot of things have not been handled well. We are even in the dark about the future of the league, but the sponsorship is coming to an end.

 “Running football is very expensive. It needs a lot of money. We should not only be an office that deals with fixtures, we should have powers to source our own sponsorship and control how it runs,” Sambandawe said. Tonota FC chairperson, Maokaneng Bontshetse described the situation as ‘sad’.

“There is little we can do.  We have a sponsorship committee, but we don’t get timely updates on critical issues. We don’t know the cause of problems surrounding the sponsorship.  We wonder if it is our league or the Botswana Football Association (BFA), but surely we are headed back

to the olden days when teams would not honour fixtures because of lack of sponsorship,” he said.

Outgoing FDN chairperson, Eatametse Olopeng said he has on several occasions tried to source answers from the relevant people regarding issues raised at the weekend meeting, but hit a brick wall.

“When I started my tenure, I found this sponsorship running.  Teams did not receive their playing kits at the time and there were issues of prize money that were yet to be sorted out among others. I tried my best to sort out some issues. I managed with some and failed in other instances.

“A sponsorship committee was supposed to be elected and to-date the committee is yet to be elected.  The biggest problem with the sponsorship is the system,” Olopeng said.

Olopeng further said teams did not receive kits for this season.

“We acknowledge that we have a problem of playing kits, some teams were told to buy their own kits and they will be refunded and that has not been the case, especially for new teams that have just been promoted.  We have since proposed that because kits cannot be provided at least the clubs be assisted with footballs,” he said.




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