Early headache for BPL

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The Botswana Premier League (BPL) faces early season stadium advertising headaches following last weekend’s incident that saw former champions, Township Rollers pay P7,000 to cover Mascom billboards during their encounter against BDF XI at the National Stadium.

The BPL and the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) are still locked in talks to resolve the conflict, which has dragged on since Mascom bought advertising space at the stadium last season.  Rollers spokesperson, Bafana Pheto said they were asked to pay the P7,000 as the home side.

“Communication from BPL reached us indicating that we had to pay Mascom. We objected because the sum was too high. At the moment, we are still negotiating the price, ” he said.

Pheto said the BPL has been paying for covering the banners, but now the costs have shifted to the teams using the stadium. He said the issue would adversely affect them as they pay for the use of the stadium.  “Teams will suffer. From here on, playing at the stadium will be costly, thus we will look at other variables like asking for change of the venue,” he said.

However, BPL CEO Bennett Mamelodi denied Rollers were asked to pay for covering banners. “We don’t know anything about Rollers having to pay P7,000,” he said, while emphasising that the issue did not represent a crisis.

He told Mmegi Sport that the issue of stadium advertising was being dealt with at a higher level.  “We will deal with this matter as soon as possible.

The BFA is involved in resolving this matter,” he said. Acting BNSC chief executive officer, Thato Kgosimore said he was not in a position to discuss the matter as it was still under debate.

“Talking about the issue now would only hamper the negotiations. We will communicate after the issue has been resolved,” he said.

He said he did not know anything about Rollers paying P7, 000 to cover Mascom banners.

Mochudi Centre Chiefs will take their clash against Motlakase Power Dynamos to the National Stadium tomorrow, Mamelodi confirmed. It is not clear what would happen regarding Mascom adverts as Mamelodi said, as of late yesterday afternoon, negotiations over the matter were on going. Meanwhile, Mamelodi said the reason for the absence of beMOBILE branding at some games during the opening weekend was due to a delay in getting the material.

“Because of the ongoing BURS strike, beMOBILE couldn’t bring their material into the country in time,” he said.  He said the BPL managed to get the material late on Saturday.

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