Botswana soccer league seal P39million deal

Bakang Mhaladi

Gaborone – The Botswana Premier League (BPL) has sealed a record P39million deal with sponsor, Botswana Tele Communications (BTC) for the soccer premiership, whose start has, however, been further delayed.   

The league was provisionally scheduled to start on August 18 and has seen three postponements since.

Last week, the BPL management announced that the season would kick off on September 15, but has now been pushed further and is expected to start on September 23, more than a month behind schedule.

However, despite the delays, BPL would be pleased that through the mother body, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) it has been able to seal a record breaking P39million sponsorship deal.

The sponsorship beats the previous figure of P30million signed between the two parties three years ago.

The new deal is over three years with P13million set aside for each season.

Teams would expect improved grants, against a background of financial constraints, which has seen most clubs struggle to pay their dues.

“This is significant rise of 30 percent from the previous deal. The sponsorship will also see the creation of the Charity spectacular,” BTC general marketing manager, Pilot Jane said at the signing ceremony.

BPL board chairperson, Rapula Okaile said they are excited to have reached another deal with BTC. He said they will do everything to ensure that the league is an exciting product. He said he was happy that in the deal, clubs will receive their grants which will enable them to run properly without tarnishing the image of league.

The breakdown of how the money would be utilized would be revealed the new season launch in Francistown on September 23 where defending champions, Township Rollers will clash with returnees, TAFIC.

Teams would hope prize money would rise as well, with the figures remaining unchanged in the last nine seasons.

The champions have been receiving P1million.

Meanwhile, 11 BTC Premiership have been given up to the end of October to fully comply with the Club Licensing requirements.

The CAF initiative seeks to move all leagues towards professionalism, with an introduction of a raft of changes.

These include having full time administrators, offices, contracts with players, and audited financial results, among others.

Only five of the 16 clubs were 100percent compliant while others scored variedly between 50 and 80 percent.

The teams have been allowed to work on the gray areas up to October 31, with audited financial reports proving a challenge as most clubs cannot afford paying auditors.

September 2017
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