The organisers of Botswana Independence Marathon are battling to pay P22,000 owed to athletes who participated in the 2017 edition.
Athletes’ representative, Rapula Diphoko told Mmegi Sport this morning that the organisers have failed to settle outstanding dues. He said the organiser, Donald Pule is not forth coming to explain the payment delays.
“He had promised to pay us in December, he failed and pushed the date to January. It was still the same song. He is now not picking our calls. The last time we spoke he threatened us saying we can take the matter to wherever we want,” said a disappointed Diphoko.
He said they tried to involve the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) in vain.
Pule said they have made part payment to the athletes, as the race did not attract the expected number of runners and sponsors.
He said they have requested the BAA to talk to the athletes on their behalf, in an effort to make them understand the situation.
“What affected us is that we did not get the numbers we had anticipated. There was another marathon a week before ours and we shared sponsors and athletes. It means we struggled to come up
Pule said they had anticipated clearing the arrears, two months after the race, but they failed to meet the deadline.
“We were expecting money from somebody, but that did not happen due to some issues I cannot disclose. We have promised the athletes that we will pay them and that will happen,” Pule said.
He revealed that they also owe officials and the University of Botswana Stadium authorities.
BAA spokesperson, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba said they are failing to get hold of the organisers.
"We have been trying to call meetings with those people, but they do not show up. The arrangement was that they should have cleared the arrears payments by now,” he said.
Ramatshaba said they want to be strict with marathon organisers in future. He said they want the organisers to submit prize money and all due payments to the BAA a month before the race. He said in turn, BAA would deal with payments. He said that is the only way to avoid such squabbles.