Fixtures postponements nightmare 

SHARE   |   Monday, 11 December 2017   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang
Fixtures postponements nightmare 

BTC Premiership teams have of recent aired a growing concern over the common postponement of fixtures this season. The teams complain over last minute changes to their schedule, saying it affects their play, results and finances. The most suffering is Maun-based Sankoyo Bushbucks which has already written a complaint letter to the Botswana Premier League (BPL) office. Sankoyo chairman Itumeleng Kelebetseng said while this issue is a national matter affecting all teams, his team is the most affected looking at the distance they have to travel for their games. Just this week Sankoyo had their game against log leaders Township Rollers which was supposed to be played on Wednesday 13 December 2017, postponed to Thursday. “We are now expected to travel Lobatse then play on Thursday and then travel back to Maun on Friday only to have our next game the following day on Saturday,” he said. A week ago Sankoyo’s game against Black Forest was also postponed. What pains Kelebetseng is that when this is done no official communication is made to them in time. He learnt about this week’s postponement on social media. “I only saw in Facebook and I called the office to confirm. They told me it was true and when I inquired why we were not formally informed, they apologised,” he said. Kelebetseng, who did not mince his words, said this is not very good for them as it affects the team both financially and results wise. He said traveling and playing within a very short time leaves players fatigued which result in them not playing well. He said changing their games frequently leads to the team losing on the gate takings as supporters also get demoralised. “Even when the game is moved from a Saturday to midweek we lose money because there are usually more people on weekends,” he said, explaining that this affects their budget.    

“This is really not good for our football because as we are trying to develop it is weighing us down. Those responsible should to make sure that a solution is found to address this problem. The BPL office has in the past explained that the fixtures problem emanates from the shortage of stadia. With the National Stadium closed off for the BTC premiership games the number of arenas available for games have been reduced. Since its closure there has been a lot of commotion concerning the fixtures. It is reported the local football mother body Botswana Football Association (BFA) is worried about the bad publicity that this is bringing to local football. Meanwhile Kelebetseng said his team is struggling as it still awaits the coach’s work permit. He said they applied for the permit five months ago yet there is still no explanation why is it not out. He also could not explain it saying with some of the foreign players they registered their permits did not take long which make them wonder what could be holding the coach’s permit. Despite all these challenges Sankoyo management is adamant that they will reach their target for this season. He said their aim is to finish within the Top 8 margin. Sankoyo are currently in position 10 in the log with 13 points from 11 games. Kelebetseng said despite the challenges they are currently in the right track to attain their target. “These things are demoralising but we will not give up. We will fight for this to become to reality,” said Kelebetseng.                  

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