The Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) has expressed its concern over local players’ ‘sorry state’.
The organisation, a voice for professional players, is increasingly worried that Premier League sides fail to provide basic necessities for players despite being aware of the risks associated with the sport. “We only have about eight teams that pay players the agreed amount and on time. The rest of the teams are really struggling to keep up with their contractual obligations. Teams are also failing to provide basics like insurance cover against injury or loss of life in terms of the Workers Compensation Act,” FUB secretary, Kgosana Masaseng told Mmegi Sport yesterday. “Teams also fail to provide adequate medical services to the players despite the game being a risky sport. We have seen some teams failing to undertake medical examinations citing financial challenges,” he added.
Masaseng said this happens despite the fact that it was central to the wellbeing of players. He said most of the Premier League clubs do medical examinations to meet Club Licensing requirements and not for the benefit of the players.
He added that the union’s relationship with the league has been purely cosmetic as a result of lack of leadership from the BPL clubs’ end. He said most of them are just not informed about a number of issues around the game.
“We are not qualified to talk about their selection processes to serve there as it is not our place, but we are greatly worried that such people could be given so much power to decide the fate of our football. The biggest loser all the time is the player, who happens to be the product that is badly prostituted in our game,” Masaseng said.
Premier League clubs have in the past also
Masaseng said even up to this end, both the union and the Premier League clubs’ leadership often find themselves having to talk past each other. He said some of the clubs are still trying hard to see the union’s back but warned that they are not about to leave anytime soon.
“There is a pattern of thought, that when you demand on behalf of the players, you do not like certain clubs. There is no iota of truth in that we favour certain clubs and only target others. We simply act on the instruction of the players and would never pursue any matter that is not formally before us even if we are to hear about it through the grapevine,” he said.
He, however, said they believe clubs can still do more adding that they will rely largely on Club Licensing requirements to address this anomaly.
Masaseng did not spare the BFA secretariat, which he said has failed to implement what has already been agreed upon.
“There is just too much mediocrity at the BFA, people are too casual about their work. The biggest tutorials we will organise for them will be to make them appreciate that without players, they would not be there,” Masaseng said.
“We see some of them trying to throw their weight around yet failing at every chance they get. Sometimes we fail to appreciate why they think they are the biggest thing to have happened to our football, which is actually made by players through their sweat and tears. It is disheartening.”