The Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) has bemoaned poor working conditions for local football players. Two years after a local survey done by the world footballers’ union body, FIFPro showed that the majority of players do not receive their monthly salaries while a significant figure was subjected to abuse and harassment.
Half of the players who participated in the research, said they earn less than P2, 000 per month with substandard medical covers.
Speaking to Mmegi Sport this week, FUB secretary general, Kgosana Masaseng said the survey was an eye opener, but admitted little has been done in the past two years to better the livelihoods of the players.
He said an average local player still earns P2, 000 and teams are still struggling to meet their contractual agreements with players. Of the 16 Premier League teams, only seven are able to pay the playing staff salaries on time. “From the past immediate season, we have been able to register about 45 cases (of mistreatment).
From these cases, players are reporting unilateral termination of their contracts by the clubs. Another big problem that players face is overdue payables. Some players go for four to eight months without salaries.
We have noted that about seven teams in the league pay the players on time and the agreed amount. The rest of the nine clubs do not meet their financial obligations,” Masaseng explained. He added the union is not satisfied with how players are treated, adding that there is a need for a dispute resolution chamber, which will help
He said the medical assistance given to the players is not satisfactory.
“We are not fully satisfied with the overall wellbeing of our members and this is why we have been fighting for the full implementation of the club licensing, the establishment of the dispute resolution chamber, which deals with contractual issues.
“We are not happy that the health of the players is not taken care of. We are worried about the absence of a medical cover for the players. We hope to address all these through the signing of a collective bargaining agreement, which defines what the BFA (Botswana Football Association) will do to protect the rights of the players and all issues that have to do with improving the welfare of the players as a whole,” he said.
Meanwhile, what is seen as a step in the right direction is that the FUB and the BFA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday. This concluded five-year negotiations to formally recognise the union as the sole representative of the professional players in the country and this was done as per requirement.
The signing is expected to lead to the formation of a dispute resolution chamber.