The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has this week given a go ahead for Gilport Lions’ status to be transferred to that of BMC Social Welfare Club. This comes after a lengthy tussle between Gilport officials and BMC society over the ownership of the club. The society argues that the transaction to transfer the team to Gilport was not done following the right procedure, hence the demand to get the team back. According to information from BFA, the association agreed to a decision by the two parties after numerous consultations and talks concerning the matter. All parties agreed to a smooth transition during a meeting held at Lekidi Football Centre on Wednesday.
“While the legalities of the changing from Gilport Lions to BMC Social Welfare Club go on in the meantime the league games should continue to be honoured without fail,” read a statement from BFA. Gilport management has since agreed to assist BMC Social Welfare Club in every way possible to ensure that the transition process is smooth. The resolution comes after Gilport Lions management had written to the association, seeking their league games to be suspended while still sorting out the matter. The team has missed their midweek fixture against Mochudi Centre Chiefs, since no agreement was reached at the time. Botswana Premier League officials are yet to deliberate on the way forward with regard to the missed fixture.
Even though commercialisation has been identified as one way clubs can use to become self-sufficient the issue has caused a lot tension in local football. The Gilport Lion issue is one of the many where societies tussle with investors. Currently Gaborone United and Township Rollers have pending cases of commercialisation at the high court. Mochudi centre Chiefs also have a similar issue coming up. Sport analysts say what is happening is anti-progress to the teams. They argue that commercialisation helps the teams to have sponsors that can help them financially since societies are unable to finance them adequately. As Gilport Lions’ status is transferred to BMC Social Welfare Club the team is expected to lose its sponsors.