The award kicked off at the beginning of this season with Township Rollers exciting midfielder, Segolame Boy winning it record three times.
Boy was awarded the trophy and a P1,500 cheque on Tuesday in his absence as the player was in Mali with the national team.
He also received higher numbers than any other player in the league for the months of August and September. For the month of October, Boy has reportedly been voted by 800 people.
He beat his teammate, Joel Mogorosi, who came second and Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ captain, Pontsho Moloi as well as Morris Ruzivo and Galagwe Moyana. The company spokesperson, Tiro Kganela said although there are concerns from other people over the manner in which it is run, it gives supporters an opportunity to have a say on who their favourite player for that month is.
“It is purely a commercial drive where we give our customers an opportunity to express their views regarding an outstanding player in the league,” he said.
He said the process of voting for the outstanding player is democratic and the numbers are audited fairly.
The award has received criticism from several football pundits citing the fact that players whose teams do not have good numbers of supporters will have little chance of winning.
However, Kganela said if that was the case, then clubs like Extension Gunners would have also been at an advantage since they have large support.
He said Boy was not necessarily voted by Rollers supporters, but others as well who felt he was outstanding.
The award runs parallel to the Botswana Premier League Player of the Month which is handled by a technical study group. The BPL awards have already been won by Tapiwa Gadibolae of Police XI, Moatlhodi Ralesotla of Green Lovers and Tendai Nyamadzawo (Gilport Lions).
The Supporters Player of the Month however is not new in world football. In the English Premier League, a panel of experts makes a short list of outstanding players for a month.
The supporters will then make their choice through voting from the short listed candidates. In the current Botswana situation, supporters do not vote from a shortlist. Asked what they will do in case a player has received the highest number of votes while he has not played a single game, Kganela said they will not award that player.
However, they said they will give any other player who has high numbers even if he has played just one game in a month.
“It is up to the supporters, if they feel that a certain player performed better than others in that one match, then we have no option but to give that player the award,” he said.