Teams feel betrayed over failed Baboneng deal

BFA and Baboneng signed the broadcasting deal last year PIC: PRESS PHOTO
BFA and Baboneng signed the broadcasting deal last year PIC: PRESS PHOTO

PALAPYE: First Division North teams say they only learnt of the cancellation of the Baboneng broadcasting deal through the media.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) chief executive officer, Mfolo Mfolo told the media last week in Gaborone that the deal was off.  The teams say they feel betrayed that the BFA had not made formal communication regarding the new developments.

Quizzed on why the teams had not been notified, Mfolo said the matter had not reached a final closure.  He said he was inclined to answer a question from the floor on the deal at the press conference.

“The was a breach and the contract is off, but we are yet to meet Baboneng for final closure of the deal.  Until all is finalised then all the stakeholders would be formally notified,” Mfolo said.  BFA and Baboneng had signed a five-year contract for the live broadcast of First Division matches.  Only TAFIC and Great North Tigers match was televised.

Sua Flamingoes general manager, Kitso Maswena said he was disappointed that the BFA would break the matter, without formal communication to the teams. He said, however, they would treat the matter as speculation while they wait for formal communication from the BFA.

Maswena said it was clear the deal had failed, as grants had not been paid as promised and the broadcasters had not appeared at the grounds since airing the first match.

“If indeed it is true, then I am disappointed with the manner of communication from our authorities. Such things affect our budgets and someone has to account,” he said.

Great North Tigers chairperson, Nkwebi Chilisa said they were not aware of the cancellation. Chilisa said they are still waiting for their appearance fees. “There is a breach of promise and if it is true, we hope the two parties are preparing to compensate us and hopefully they will at the time they inform us.”

Green Lovers manager, Othusitse Kootswele said he was completely in the dark.  He said the last time he checked, the BFA had promised to give feedback about the sponsorship and promised grants, but nothing had happened. “If indeed the deal is off, then we were robbed. This is betrayal,” he said.  Meanwhile, league action returns after a brief break to allow the start of the FA Cup last weekend. Log leaders Morupule Wanderers, who were stunned by third-tier league side, Santa Green in the cup, face Green Lovers in Pilikwe. Lovers went to a league break with a colossal 2-1 win against TAFIC.  They became the first side to hand TAFIC a league defeat, which saw the Francistown side drop to second.  Kootswele said it was easier to play log leaders and they will aim to a similar feat against Wanderers. He said their opponents would be under pressure to try grip into the top spot.

“It is easier to play title contenders than relegation-threatened sides.  It is their first week at the top of the league and they would be under pressure to hold on.  With us, we are trying to amass as many points as possible to finish in a better position,” Kootswele said.

TAFIC would be looking to bounce back when they welcome Nico United at the Francistown City Council Stadium.  Nico’s neighbours, Real Movers will also be in the second city for a meeting with Francistown City Greens.  Motlakase Power Dynamos lock horns with Palapye All Stars in a Palapye derby at Palapye Swallows Grounds.  All Stars beat Motlakase by a solitary goal in the previous meeting.

Sua Flamingoes play Eleven Angels in Sowa Town and in the only Sunday encounter Calendar Stars are home to Great North Tigers in the Francistown derby.  All matches kickoff at 4pm.

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