The Botswana Softball Association (BSA) has resolved to nullify the 2019-2020 season, while also battling to find a suitable date for its annual general meeting (AGM) due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
BSA president, Thabo Thamane recently wrote to the clubs regarding challenges brought about by COVID-19.
“The AGM had to be postponed due to uncertainties and financial constraints brought by COVID-19 pandemic. We are required to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations and to follow them to the latter hence withdrawing the meeting. As soon as a suitable date has been secured, communication would be sent out to the members advising on the new AGM dates,” reads the letter in part.
BSA executive committee met last month to decide on the future of the league where the sponsor, Botswana Fibre Networks Ltd (BoFiNeT), agreed with the executive committee’s proposal to nullify the 2019-2020 season. During the meeting, it was agreed that the focus should shift to the 2020-2021 season. The committee requested BoFiNeT to finance the expenses of clubs that they have incurred during the past league season and ask them to see how they could best help clubs.
The league sponsor has requested NEC to submit proposals after engaging with club managers. BSA spokesperson, Thato Matenge told Mmegi Sport they are awaiting response from BoFiNeT to decide on the way forward.
Regarding issues of compliance, Matenge said BNSC has released the BSA grant for the 2020-2021 financial year.
“The BNSC released the funds last week, but I am not sure if the funds include the refurbishment of the National Diamond,” he said.
Comets team manager, Oeme Morupisi told Mmegi Sport instead
“We should find a common ground with the sponsor so that they can cover expenses that have been incurred by clubs.
After that we can focus on starting the league afresh. We cannot just drop everything without benefiting anything,” he said. Morupisi complained that there is no smooth flow of information from the executive committee. He said the information they receive is through a WhatsApp group instead of a formal letter.
Rail Giants manager, Pako Maforaga said the decision to cancel the league or continue should have been made earlier.
“By the time it got to August, it became the only option. Traditionally, our league starts from September.
I think BSA should consider some sort of grant payout to all clubs equally. Paying out a compensation based on money spent would turn out to be a difficult task,” he said. Maforaga said the majority of the clubs do not have formal setups where they could access records of expenditure. He noted that the executive committee would be riddled with “made up and possibly inflated difficult to explain figures”. He suggested that a blanket grant would suffice.
“This should include clubs that did not play. Clubs did not ask for their fixtures to be late. So excluding them when they spent money
preparing for their turn to play would be unfair,” Maforaga said.