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Clubs, BFA in showdown talks

MQONDISI DUBE
Facing challenges: Clubs want to meet BFA over recent troubles in the local game PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Botswana Premier League clubs are due to meet the mother body, Botswana Football Association (BFA) to thrash out nagging issues around prize money and grants.

The clubs argue grants are insufficient or paid late, while there is no prize money at the end of the season. Title sponsor, BTC reduced its funding for the season from P13million to just P5million, which gave birth to the current scenario.

There have been widespread reports that the league would grind to a halt, thanks to the recent developments.

But BFA president, Maclean Letshwiti told Mmegi Sport this week ahead of showdown talks with the clubs that the league would go on.

“The league will go on. Those who cannot afford to play, means they do not qualify.

The message that I got is that there are challenges, and club representatives want to meet me.  But under no circumstances will the league stop,” Letshwiti said. “Anybody who says he cannot play football, doesn’t belong. Those who can’t play in the league, must go and play social football, and let those who are commercial-minded, play in the elite league.

If you can’t play in the league, then you are in the wrong league.” BFA spokesperson, Tumo Mpatane said the chairpersons had only said they want to meet Letshwiti, and not that they wanted to stop playing. He said club

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licensing would take its course, as it would be apparent that clubs that do not comply are not ready to play.

 “At the end of the day, we will end up with those who comply.  They know the issue of how the league would be played. It would be a big surprise for team X to say we cannot honour a game.

But still, we will go back to our club licensing rules, if it means teams reducing, and then we get a quality league,” Mpatane said.

Meanwhile, Letshwiti said they would move with speed to hire a new technical director. The position fell vacant following the departure of Serame Letsoaka, who has joined FIFA.

“I know what a technical director is, and whoever comes in will be subjected to full scrutiny by FIFA. Serame proved to be the best, and I want someone who is better than him.  In a few years, I want that person to be a FIFA instructor. I know exactly what I want,” Letshwiti said.

Serame had reportedly recommend Kaelo ‘Wire’ Kaelo to take over, but the association’s technical committee, recommended that the position be advertised, to open up the process.



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