Following the faulty start of the BTC premiership 2016/2017 season due to referees boycotting some matches, affected clubs are left counting losses for the expenses they incurred from the abandoned matches. While clubs are anxious to know who will compensate for their losses, all the Botswana Football Association (BFA) can do is offer apologies for the unfortunate developments. Black Forest Chairman Emmanuel Kekobilwe said on Wednesday that no one has told them what will be done after the weekend’s misfortunes. Kekobilwe said the team has used roughly P6 500.00 for their away fixture against Jwaneng Galaxy which was abandoned. “We have lost money and we are not sure who is going to reimburse us. It is also not only money but the morale of players who were looking forward for their debut in the premier league has been dealt a blow by this,” said Kekobilwe.
When referees downed tools on Saturday Botswana Premier League officials had no option but to abandon four matches. The referees reportedly boycotted the games in protest for their unpaid dues from the previous season. In a statement he wrote to affected parties, BFA president Maclean Letshwiti said the association takes the responsibility for what happened. Letshwiti further apologised to the league sponsor, clubs and their supporters. “BFA NEC will like to take this opportunity to tender its most sincere apology to Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) as the league sponsor for dragging their good name in the mud through these highly regrettable occurrences. NEC further extends apology to the affected clubs and their supporters,” wrote Letshwiti. He assured stakeholders that the BFA will do all within its power to avert future occurrences of this nature. The president, however, did not shed a light if any action will be taken against the referees who boycotted the weekend matches. He could only implore all those involved in running of football to synergistically gear their efforts towards actions and activities that have the effect of taking football to the next level of development.
“It is important to note more that 95% of people involved in the game either as players or administrators do this for free, but even more importantly often have to dig deep into their pockets to finance their volunteerism. Thus those who are privileged to earn something for their noble contribution; minimal as it may be viewed, should always take cognisance of the broader picture with regards to the realities of the situation in Botswana football and sport in general,” said Letshwiti. The games, which were abandoned, include that of Jwaneng Galaxy vs Black forest, Gilport Loins vs BDF XI, Security Systems vs Hotspurs and Green Lovers vs Sankoyo Bush Bucks.