· CAF’s stern warning forces BFA’s hand
· Clubs leave beyond means; have no offices; pay players late
· Clubs face P5000 fines; deduction of points
Botswana Football Association (BFA) has vowed to take some stern measures against clubs that do not comply with club licensing requirements.
Club licensing was introduced two years back locally in line with global standards with the sole aim of improving professionalism in the sport. However as of now it is still hard for local clubs to comply with the requirements with most teams still run as societies.
According to the club licensing manual, clubs should have levels of management and organisation management which means players should be subjected to medical tests before signing contracts as well as for clubs to have running offices and youth development teams.
As of 2017 Township Rollers, Orapa United, Jwaneng Galaxy, Police XI and Security Systems were the only clubs which were issued with full licenses after complying with the standards set while 11 other teams were given provisional licenses with clear instructions to make some improvements. These included Extension Gunners and Gaborone United.
Though in the past clubs have been threatened with suspension if they fail to comply no action had been taken. Clubs have in fact failed to fulfil some of the requirements such as having development teams and offices.
To make matters worse teams have continued to live beyond their means; something which has led to them failing to duly pay their players well on time. BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo has warned that this time around they will take severe measures against clubs without having mercy.
“Every time we want to implement club licensing fully clubs always seek some leniency but this time around CAF has sent us a stern warning too or else as a country we will be banned from all football competitions. So with that we are forging ahead in terms of effecting this and we have come up with serious penalties which will be imposed on clubs which fail to duly comply. We have issues of overdue payables which we will continue to engage clubs through Footballers Union Botswana (FUB) but if we don’t come up with solutions we will relegate those teams to the regional leagues because it will be showing that they don’t have a budget to play in the elite league,” said Mfolo addressing the media.
Amongst the penalties which are available clubs will attract a fine of P5000 and a final grace period of 60 days on failure to maintain at least one active youth team. Should the team further fail to implement that the association will automatically deduct six points from the team upon the expiry of the deadline. Failure to maintain and operate an office will result in P2000 fine while the offending club will also be given 30 days to operate an office in which failure to do that will also lead to six points deduction.
Though club licensing remains a thorn to many teams, they (clubs) won’t be spared on any other day as BFA technical director Serame Letsoaka has also shared the plans to improve on the premier league in the next seasons.