For the first time since BTC took over the sponsorship of the league, there are doubts over the holding of the season ending awards ceremony.
The Botswana Premier League (BPL) chief executive officer, Thabo ‘Styles’ Ntshinogang initially said the sponsor, BTC, had not indicated the awards arrangement to them. But then the sponsor responded that the awards were solely the prerogative of the BPL.
This week, Ntshinogang said the sponsor had failed to find a suitable venue, which is why the awards, scheduled for June 22, 2018 were postponed. “The sponsor informed us that they could not find a suitable venue. I don’t know about the issue that there is no money,” Ntshinogang said.
Mmegi Sport had wanted to find out if the issue behind the drawn-out matter was down to funds, but Ntshinogang said it had to do with the venue.
But again, the sponsor has reiterated that the organisation and hosting of the awards lie at BPL’s doorstep. Despite a cloud hanging over the holding of the ceremony, where the season’s best performers are rewarded, BTC sponsorship coordinator, Leonard Seone chose to remain optimistic.
“I think very soon the BPL will say something good. It’s not that we are not engaging. Very soon, whether positive or negative, at small or large scale, something will be announced by the BPL,” said Seone, and reiterated that BPL is the owner of the awards. There are reports that the awards will instead be scaled down, with a much more low key function compared to past seasons.
“It’s not all about the postponement, the most important thing is for both of us; the sponsor and BPL, to engage and come up with something. As BTC, we don’t have the right to postpone the awards. But very soon something, will be announced by the BPL,” Seone said.
Ntshinogang maintained that it has been the sponsor and not BPL that organises the awards.
“It has been the norm that the sponsors organise the awards. That’s why they have never given us any funds to prepare for the awards,” Ntshinogang said.
The nominees are already out but the wait continues, five weeks since the last league match was played. Meanwhile, clubs have also complained about delayed prize monies, although Ntshinogang told the media recently that the issue would be resolved soon.