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Man of the Match missing!

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 25 September 2019   |   By Baitshepi Sekgweng
Man of the Match missing!

The consequences of sponsorship reduction in the Premier League by Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) is already being felt particularly by  players due to the absence of man of the  match  awards  during  games. Ever since the  start  of the 2019/20 season no player has been awarded  the  accolade, a  situation which has been  attributed   to  lack of funds. For   this  season  BTC  has only  injected  P5 million as   the  sponsorship  for the league, an amount   which is far below the  previous   sponsorships.

Although  Barclays Bank (ABSA  Group)  has  come on board  to  splash P7.6 million  for the next  two seasons, the funding is  not enough. The  P5 million  BTC  funding  coupled  with  P3.2 million which Barclays will  part ways  with for this  season  only  add  up to  P8.2 million  falling short  by P4.8 million to reach  the P13 million  which was projected  for this season. Last  season   the man  of the match  award  winners  walked away  with  P1000  plus  P250 airtime  courtesy  of  BTC. However two weeks into the season no player   is yet to    be rewarded for an outstanding performance in the match.

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Many pundits are of the   view that the absence of the award can have an impact on the performance of   players since most of teams are struggling financially therefore obtaining man of the match rewards normally   boost them financially. “We shouldn’t forget that more than half of our teams are struggling in terms of paying player salaries and welfare. So  some of players   depended  on this   rewards for   survival because we all  now  it’s only few  teams which are able to pay their  teams  well,” said  one football  administrator  who  opted for anonymity.

With the premier league already  set for the  fourth  week  some  of  players from  various  teams  in the  premier  league  have   expressed  different   views  on the  predicament. “I can’t say I’m happy or not because this is a situation beyond my control as a player but it is not good for the league because man of the match awards serves as a motivation to players to work extra and knowing that there is a reward for the job well done. However  I will  say this  can  affect   performance of some players because  some look too much into individual awards while  others just want to win  titles and cups with their teams, ”said  Karabo Phiri of Jwaneng  Galaxy.

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“It’s very disturbing to play or start the league in this kind of situation when you don’t know the price money, man of the match price and others. Man of the match is very vital because you have to know what you are fighting for because that’s our motivation factor. So  for me I think  we could have not  started  the league  until  everything  was ready,” shared  Monageng  Thaele   of Molepolole City  Stars.

For Township Rollers’ Tlhalefo Molebatsi the  absence of the  award doesn’t  change anything  though   he  also emphasizes  that  the reward  is a motivation  for players. “I don’t think  there is a problem  at the  moment when   the  award is not available,” he said.

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The  Patriot  on Sunday  caught  up with Botswana Football Association  chief Executive officer Mfolo Mfolo  who said  the issue  is being dealt with. “This  is a matter of   the  premier  league  budget being affected  by issues  of sponsorships  but the subject will be dealt  with accordingly  at the  board  meeting  this Friday,”he said.

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According   to  football   analyst  Monty Gagomokgwa   the  man  o the  match awards   plays  a pivotal role in  the  league, “The award is imperative  for  the league  more especially  to  players of  those  teams which are  bit broke  because  when   players get to  win the accolade they  know    they can  help  themselves  with the  funds here and there. So  the  award  bears results   and   brings  competition, I remember  three  seasons ago  Moatlhodi Ralesotla  won  the award   three  consecutive  times in  a month  and that  on its own ended up earning him  a player of the  month  accolade. And that  opened doors  for   him to  rise   to  stardom and  before the  season even ended  he was  already  taken  by  teams  with  money. So if the award is not there is nothing that players   are fighting   for, so you can see the   significance of the prize,” he said.



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