The Botswana Premier League (BPL) decided against holding the season-ending award ceremony to focus on the inaugural BTC Charity Cup, to be held on August 11.
There was palpable disappointment amongst fans, after the awards, held to reward outstanding players and officials, were cancelled this week.
Initially, the awards were supposed to be held on June 21 but were postponed, with the BPL saying the sponsor had failed to secure a suitable venue.
However the sponsor, BTC, said the organisation of the awards was the prerogative of the BPL.
This week, the BPL issued a press statement announcing the cancellation of the awards, “as they had been overtaken by events”.
BPL chief executive officer, Thabo ‘Styles’ Ntshinogang said the impending Charity Cup had forced them to cancel the awards.
“As you are aware, we are preparing for the Charity Cup. We must focus on it to ensure that it is a success,” Ntshinogang told Mmegi Sport this week.
BTC public relations manager, Golekanye Molapisi said they had reached common ground with BPL over the cancellation of the awards.
There has been confusion as to under whose ambit the awards fall, and Ntshinogang admitted that there are grey areas in their contract with the BTC that need to
“There is nowhere in the contract where it says we should receive money for the awards. The money has always been with the sponsor,” Ntshinogang said.
He said this makes it difficult for them to determine a date, without a budget.
It is the same issue with the prize money, which was only disbursed last week, six weeks after the season ended.
“We don’t have a timeline in our contract as to when the funds should be released. It is an issue, which we have to take up with the sponsor to ensure that operational issues are taken care of. We need this in black and white so that our interpretations are aligned,” Ntshinogang said.
Quizzed on why there are no similar issues of concern with the Mascom Top 8, Ntshinogang said it was probably time they took a leaf from the particular contract.
The other outstanding issue is of mobilisation funds, which is not stipulated in the contract, but the BPL board has in the past, agreed to take the money from club’s grants.