Shortage of venues, branding spoil First Division League

Branding challenges: First Division North matches proceed without the sponsor's banners
Branding challenges: First Division North matches proceed without the sponsor's banners

FRANCISTOWN: Shortage of grounds and poor branding nearly spoilt the just ended First Division North League, the competition’s spokesman has revealed.

“We were competing for playing grounds with clubs from other divisions. This resulted in serious shortage of grounds,” Rapula Gaotlhobogwe said. “On several occasions clubs had to intervene and assist the league committee to source grounds, which helped the situation. The issue will be discussed extensively and a possible solution be found at the league assembly in Palapye on May 30”.

Rapula said the situation made it difficult for supporters to travel with their teams. He explained that sometimes, teams had to play at venues far from their support base. He said the division’s general assembly will address the issue of branding and kit sponsorship.

“At the moment, it appears that there is lack of understanding between the sponsor and the league committee as to how the branding during matches and issuing of team kits to clubs should be taken care of.”

For the whole season, some teams were playing without branded kits. There is also no branding during league matches. Early this year, the league committee chairperson, Eatametse Olopeng promised that the branding and kit issue would be dealt with. However, the problem still persisted. 

The late release of sponsorship grants to teams has also been a major source of headache. “We however do not believe that it had a very bad impact on the teams because we stopped the league until the money was released. The late release was due to technicalities which we believe will not happen in future,” Rapula asserted. 

Despite the grounds and branding challenges, he believes the league went well especially in the field of play. “We had three protests this season and they were all dealt with exceptionally well. A lesser number of protests are a true reflection that the league went well. In past seasons, the league was overwhelmed by protests, which at times delayed the completion of the season and even worse, impacted on the league position,” said Gaotlhobogwe.

Editor's Comment
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