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'Prize Money' Statement Angers BFA

MQONDISI DUBE
Challenging Times: The press statement issued by the BPL has strained relations with BFA PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has not taken kindly to a statement released by its organ, the Botswana Premier League (BPL) reiterating that clubs will not receive any prize money at the end of the season.

In the statement, the BPL painted a gloomy picture of the BTC Premiership, particularly with regards to prize money.

At the beginning of the season, title sponsor, BTC slashed its season’s allocation from P13million to P5million, citing failure to meet contractual obligations on the part of the BPL.

As a result, clubs were informed that there would be no prize money after the BFA failed to find sufficient funds to plug the deficit.

Absa Botswana (Barclays) came on board with a P7.5million sponsorship over two years, but that was not enough to cover the shortfall.

While the matter had appeared to ‘die down’, the BPL raised the dust last week with a status update of the BTC Premiership.

In the statement, the BPL said as it stands, clubs would not receive any cash for their efforts.

However, efforts are on-going to source funds, and reward the clubs.

The statement triggered an angry reaction from the mother body, with the BFA distancing itself from the contents.

“The BFA did not initiate, author, authorise nor sanction the contents therein contained in the statement.

While the statement was released through the official BPL Help Desk, the

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association will conduct thorough investigations to establish whether the BPL website has been compromised, hacked or administration rights were violated…”

“The BFA, therefore, would like to inform all stakeholders that the statement is not an official communication of the association, and should, therefore, be perceived with the contempt it deserves,” the BFA said.

But BPL chairperson, Seiphetlho Sefhako confirmed that the statement was from their office. He said it should be noted that this was a status update about the league.

“I am aware of the statement. We were giving the status of the league as of today. It is a report,” he said.

He added that at times they consult the BFA before issuing a statement, but that depends on the subject.

Sefhako said regarding grants, all teams have been paid P25,000 per month, which was insufficient to meet their needs.

It is reported that the statement rubbed the BFA the wrong way, as it was seen as part of an election campaign gimmick. The BFA is preparing for its election between July and August, with the presidential contest the one to keep an eye on.



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