BTC AND BPL CONFIRM NEW THREE-YEAR DEAL
The country’s elite football division will remain the BTC Premier League after Botswana Telecommunication Corporation confirmed a three-year sponsorship deal worth P39 million.
The confirmation came at a BPL press conference in Gaborone on Wednesday, ending weeks of speculation over just how much BTC would inject into the league.
The official signing ceremony will be held at Francistown Sports Complex on the 23rd of September, finally marking the start of the 2017/18 season
The ritual will immediately be followed by the league’s curtain-raiser, which sees newly promoted Tafic take on defending champions Township Rollers – an enticing encounter which should see the new season get off to an explosive start.
As part of the improved deal, BTC will also sponsor the Charity Cup – a new tournament BPL have introduced this season. More information will be shared at the official launch.
Speaking at Wednesday’s event, BTC General Manager Marketing, Pilot Yane explained the renewed sponsorship represents a significant, 30 per cent increase in value.
He said their partnership with BPL over the past nine years has played a significant role in the growth and development of local football.
“This is buttressed by the growth in the quality displayed on the field of play and the improvement in professionalism seen in the past years of our engagement. I urge the football community to continue nurturing talent that can compete with the best in the world and give supporters great value of the best football. The money translates to P13 million per season,” said Yane.
For his part, Premiership Chairman, Rapula Okaile assured the sponsor’s not to worry about the recent controversy surrounding the issue of club licencing, insisting that ‘everything was under control’.
Okaile was referring to the recent revelation that 11 top flight clubs are yet to earn their full licences. Failure to do so by the 31st of October deadline would result in their immediate expulsion from the league.
To date, only Township Rollers, Orapa United, Jwaneng Galaxy, Security Systems and Police XI have successfully met the required obligations.
However, the Chairman confidently predicted that the 11 teams would comply with the licencing requirements.
Okaile concluded by stressing that there should be accountability and budgeting in the running of football, adding that licencing was ‘just a reminder’.
“Grants do not come without responsibility and accountability. This is how we are going to do it; teams get the grants and demonstrate that they are using the money appropriately. It will help us to confer the confidence in the sponsor that we use the grant for the right things,” he said.