PALAPYE: The perennial late release of grants has resurfaced in the Debswana First Division League, and clubs in the north say the development might see teams failing to honour fixtures.
The First Division North programme enters week three this weekend but clubs are already feeling the pinch of delayed grant payments.
Nico said they have already spent over P10, 000 preparing for the opening two matches.
The Selebi-Phikwe side travelled to Sankoyo Bush Bucks in Maun in their last fixture.
They lead the log with a maximum six points. This weekend Majombolo are home to Eleven Angels.
Nico chairperson, Moloko ‘Ace’ Masoja complained about the delays in grants saying the long distances teams travel in the north were too costly.
“We are already in debts. We try to honour the fixtures but these issues are a predicament.
We are not even getting convincing answers about late payments of grants,” Masoja said.
He also complained that the issues were not well addressed because of the interim committee in charge of First Division North affairs.
He said the committee has been in office far too long, following the suspension of the substantive members last year.
“A year is too long for the interim committee and the issue needs to be addressed. We have not heard from the BFA since they came to us suspending our committee.”
Motlakase Power Dynamos and Green Lovers chairpersons, Gaolatlhe Kelesitse and Othusitse Kootswele shared similar sentiments.
Kelesitse felt the interim committee is failing to advocate for the teams. He said they needed around P3, 000 to prepare for home fixtures and about P15, 000 for matches in Maun.
“It all comes from our pockets. They are not feeling the pinch and it is becoming too difficult for us. We have asked and they are not convincing. It appears there is a lot of secrecy around the issue. We are not even sure if the interim committee is free to engage their principals,” he said.
Kootswele further said they were promised grants would be paid before the league started, but they are still waiting. He also criticised the interim committee for failing to answer.
“They run more like the Francistown Region. They are not even comfortable with our questioning, and the clubs did not give them the mandate.
We don’t know whom they speak for. We are not even sure the grants will be paid but if it continues like this we are going to fail to fulfil some fixtures,” Kootswele said.
First Division North chairperson, Jonas Ikgopoleng said the Debswana sponsorship was renewed recently and the parties involved were tying loose ends of the deal, hence the delays.
“We understand our clubs’ struggles and we feel for them. This is a new sponsorship and the two parties are finalising the logistics of the deal. We are hopeful that by the end of the month, at least everything would be tied up and clubs will receive their grants,” Ikgopoleng said.