BFL tightens screws on players’ transfers

Tough talk: Ramochotlhwane PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Tough talk: Ramochotlhwane PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

The Botswana Football League (BFL) chief executive officer (CEO), Solomon Ramochotlhwane has said that the new regulations dealing with players’ transfers will help curb disputes between players and clubs.

Speaking at last weekend’s Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) elective congress, Ramochotlhwane said in the past the Players’ Status Committee has had to deal with so many cases of disputes between players and their clubs. However, he said the new regulations that will now govern the Premier League and National First Division are watertight and will be able to control misconduct from all the stakeholders, starting with the players and their intermediaries or agents.

He said the issue of intermediaries or agents has been left unattended to for some time and is partly the reason why there have been so many transfer disputes before. “It is actually exacerbated by the players. Some players would go to an extent of engaging their relatives to assist in negotiating contracts. In the end, the player will realise that the contract that they signed a few days back is not really what they had expected. And that is because they had been ill-advised.

They had just been made to sign a contract before they could get proper advice,” he said. Ramochotlhwane also said in the past they have seen situations where a player had signed two contracts when there are proper structures that could have provided sound advice. “When you sign a contract, the sole purpose is to make sure you commit to where you realise that there will be a return on investment, at par with the skills that you possess as a player,” he said. He added, going forward the regulations will deal specifically with issues of players, agents or intermediaries.

He said many times they are the cause of the disputes between players and clubs because of their inexperience in dealing with the issues. The players' union has also expressed concern over the protection of players in the transfer market.

Speaking to Mmegi Sport this week, FUB secretary-general, Kgosana Masaseng said they see a lot of conflict of interest happening. “We are one of the first people to fight for the development of the regulations on working with intermediaries and our concerns even during the drafting was to try as much as possible to protect the players. We previously dealt with a case in which the agent was representing both the club and the player and regrettably during a dispute, the agent sided with the club for obvious reasons,” Masaseng said.

He said they have tried to talk to the Botswana Football Association to enforce the agents’ regulatory framework to bring order to the industry.

He said the dialogue with agents together with the association must deal largely with a regulatory framework for licensing and arbitration as the union believes that litigation is inevitable. “We also recommend that there should be full transparency towards the players and far-reaching disclosure to allay fears that there are certain club officials and coaches who hide behind this unregulated market,” he said.

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