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Coronavirus: No financial losses for BPL

MQONDISI DUBE
Maclean Letshwiti
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti has said there will be no financial losses for its organ, the Botswana Premier League (BPL) if the season is annulled.

The BFA recently halted all football activities following the outbreak of the coronavirus, which has rapidly spread around the globe.

Cases in neighbouring South Africa have been rising, reaching 151 at lunchtime yesterday.

The spread of the virus has seen all sport activities, in almost all the countries, grind to a halt.

The BTC Premiership season was left with 10 games, while the knockout Orange FA Cup had reached the quarterfinal stage. The BFA would assess the situation around April 10 to determine if the season can resume.

But if it does not, Letshwiti said there would be no financial losses for the league.

“I don’t anticipate any financial losses for the BPL. This is an international disaster, it cannot be blamed on anybody. The biggest financial losses will be for business houses,” Letshwiti said.

The BFA has major sponsorship

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deals with Absa, BTC, Mascom and Orange. The Mascom Top 8 was completed on March 7, just in time before the spread of coronavirus forced the suspension of football activities. While the BPL would not face financial losses if the season were declared null and void, the clubs would feel the pinch.Already they face a litany of challenges, clubs are expected to survive without their major source of income, gate takings.

It is not clear how the league would be determined in the case that the virus persists.  “Annulling the league is the last we wish to do,” Letshwiti said. Botswana has no recorded case, but as a precaution, sport activities were halted. There would be no financial bailout for clubs during the forced break, as the BPL has faced financial challenges.



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