Gunners turn to politicians

SHARE   |   Thursday, 25 July 2019   |   By Ricardo Kanono
Gunners turn to politicians

… As Boko claims to have helped acquire a bus for them

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Extension Gunners’ financial   troubles might have not only attracted the attention of   football lovers but the sympathy of politicians to help the club.

Last  week  at the Umbrella  for Democratic  Change  (UDC) conference  which was held in Gaborone, party  president Duma Boko publicly declared  he  has used his connections   to help acquire   a bus  for Gunners – mainly  through Pontsho Moloi  who has been at the  helm of the   team as  a coach.

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The Lobatse-based side is one of the teams which are currently bedeviled by financial difficulties, hence still struggling with settling debts which were incurred as far back as   2012. According to the available information, the bus is expected to be delivered in September this year.

Various Botswana Premier League (BPL) teams continue to incur some huge costs in order to attend league games though it has turned out that the rewards are nothing but just mere peanuts and are not enough to cover all the operational costs.

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Player  welfare  also  remain a great  concern as   teams  sometimes fail  to  pay salaries  and rent for players  well on time. The number of cases concerning disputes between clubs and players about unpaid salaries in the just ended 2018/19 season has been high despite the efforts by clubs to commercialise and follow the   club licensing requirements.

 Two years back Footballers Union Botswana (FUB) released a report indicating that   only five of the 16 premier league clubs are able to pay players their salaries   on time. However    the pledge by the UDC  president  has   caused a little  bit of  confusion   on whether  it is  a good thing  for  politicians to be meddling  in football matters.

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According   to Gunners public relations officer Willoughby Kemoen,   though   they heard about the issue on social media they acknowledge the donation and believe it is not politically motivated but rather an honest contribution. However, he said they are still awaiting official communication from the donor since the announcement was made during an open conference where the club was not represented.

“We are looking at the same development with keen interest and we have since found out that our assistant coach (Pontsho Moloi) has mutual friendship with Boko. We should also appreciate that it is through relationships that we can get assistance. Before Boko   can be a politician he comes from a family unit and in addition to that he is a Gunners supporter who as a club we are also chasing   him   to register for membership of the club,” said Kemoen.

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According  to Kemoen  it is not the  first time  for  Boko   to   help the club  as he once paid for  the team’s  accommodation  last season  in Serowe. He further  alluded that as  the club they   will continue to   get  assistance   from Boko and other well-wishers since it is not  his party  which is  helping but him on his individual capacity. “Extension Gunners is apolitical” said Kemoen.

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When quizzed on what capacity was coach Moloi asking for help from Boko, Kemoen said; “Pontsho Moloi made the request based on his personal relationship with Boko. Our position is that any kind of assistance is welcome at the club from anyone including supporters. If supporters wish to donate to the club it’s gladly accepted. To support this we have acquired players through supporters and some even paid players’ salaries and accommodation in their personal capacity. But we maintain  that  it is not good for  politics meddling in football but as for the bus matter we state that it will not be coming from UDC but from one of the well-wishers, being the leader of opposition as an individual,” he said.



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