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Letshwiti admits Premier League blunder

Candid admission: Letshwiti says they should change the way they run the Premier League PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti has admitted to shortcomings in the running of the Botswana Premier League (BPL).

There was a groundswell of anger after recent reports that clubs will not receive prize money at the end of the season.

Speaking to Mmegi Sport this week, Letshwiti said the crisis at the BPL were a result of a wrong management approach.

“The manner we are running the Premier League is not the manner the Premier League works. If you look at South Africa and Great Britain, the mother body does not run the elite league. The elite league runs itself, it is the investment arm for the association. It creates revenue for the Premier League. So, we are trying to run it the way it is not. That’s why we have problems,” Letshwiti said.

He said the problems have been bubbling under since failure to immediately implement the recommendations of the 2008 Bosele Declaration. “What we have to do now, is to structure clubs as a commercial entity. Before a club can qualify to play in the Premier League, the first thing is that it must behave like a commercial entity. Now what we are doing is, we are going to enforce club licensing,” he said.

Letshwiti said the blunder which they made, was to issue provisional licences to clubs at the start of the season, even though some were not fully compliant.

He added that it was clubs themselves, who proposed to be paid grants, instead of prize money, after the reduction in the BTC sponsorship, from P13million to P5million at the start of the season.

But Letshwiti said all hope was not lost, as they will push through a raft of changes, at the top being fully enforcing Club Licensing, as well as reducing Premier League teams.

At 16, Botswana is seen as having too many elite clubs for a country with a population of two million. South Africa, with a population around 54million, has 16 clubs.

Letshwiti believes if they push through the reduction of clubs, the quality would improve, and resources equitably distributed.

The BFA hold elections later this year, where a new president would be elected, and Letshwiti believes the timing of a statement on the prize-money was ‘politically motivated’.

However, he says, other than the Premier League, his administration has done exceedingly well, to deserve another term in office. 




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