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BPL awards in doubt

MQONDISI DUBE
Rollers won the league but the awards ceremony is in doubt PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
The end-of-season BTC Premiership awards are in doubt with the Botswana Premier League (BPL) uncertain over the function.

BPL chief executive officer, Thabo ‘Styles’ Ntshinogang said they were not aware when the awards will take place as the office was waiting for the heads-up from title sponsor, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC).

“We are not yet sure. The sponsor still has to confirm the dates,” Ntshinogang said yesterday, a day after the end of the 2017/2018 season.

“We are not sure either (whether they will take place). We have not received anything official from them (sponsor) that they will or will not be held. I will be following them up on the matter today (Thursday).”

The sponsor on the other hand distanced itself from the organisation of the awards.

“(The) organisation and hosting of the awards is the responsibility of the premier league office,” explained BTC public relations manager, Golekanye Molapisi.

The hosting of the awards costs around P1 million and the BPL, due to its precarious financial

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position, might be hamstrung to hold the ceremony this season.

If the awards do not proceed as expected, it would be the first time in 10 seasons since BTC came on board with an improved multi-million pula sponsorship deal.

BTC poured P39 million into the domestic competition for the next three seasons, with P13 million allocated per year.

Township Rollers were crowned champions on Wednesday after beating Extension Gunners 2-0 to pip Jwaneng Galaxy to the title.

Rollers were expected to be presented with their cheque at an official awards ceremony, but that appears to be in limbo, which might infuriate football fans.

There have been growing calls to hold the BPL awards under one roof, taking a similar approach as neighbours South Africa. Locally, BPL sponsors, Mascom and BTC, hold separate functions to recognise outstanding performers, in the Mascom Top 8 and BTC Premiership respectively.



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