Power play

Kitso Ramono
BFA TAKING CONTROL: Mfolo (r) and Zakhem (l)

BFA show BFL the yellow card

On Monday morning, less than 48 hours after the Premier League season ended, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) made a bold move, temporarily revoking the Botswana Football League’s (BFL) rights to run the league.

The association stripped the company of its rights to run the league, noting off-field fallouts between board members had caused the ugly damage to the beautiful game’s reputation.

Explaining their decision to wrestle back control, BFA CEO, Mfolo Mfolo said the BFL was no longer serving its purpose, distracted by embarrassing in-fighting.

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Mfolo also admitted the BFA must take its fair share of the blame for BFL’s failings.

“We recognised that what has been going on in the league since the BFL was granted sole control of the league three years ago is not healthy for football. We acknowledge that we gave them autonomy without providing sufficient supervision; in short, we did it too quickly! As a result, we decided to go back to the association model and eliminate their status as a separate legal entity,” clarified the CEO at a hastily arranged Press Conference on Tuesday.

Outlining the way forward, Mfolo said the goal is to have a professional topflight league, run by a financially independent private entity.

In time they hope BFL will become that entity, with the CEO listing four phases that must happen to achieve this.

“The first phase is to re-establish the league, which will be run by the BFA, with a management team overseeing league operations alongside the BFL Secretariat,” he said.

Phase two will be looking at BFL’s financial independence, with the third step handing the reigns back over to BFL.

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Lastly for the last stage, its here by then now the company is there fully independent, and they seat down with them to discuss what model of shareholding will be there between the BFL and BFA.

Mfholo stated that these are only crucial points and that a concise explanation of the transition will be issued shortly.

For his part, standing in for the BFL shareholders, BFL Board Chairman Nicholas Zakhem stated that while it is difficult to accept the decision, they are forced to. “In a quest to privatize the league, some teams did not want to participate. Issues like reducing the Premier League teams to four and others dragging each other to court instead of focusing on our primary goal, which is to privatize the league, have forced the FA to revoke what they had given us,” Zakhem stated.

He says they are going to have a meeting with other shareholders on the 8th of June to get their views about the FA’s decision and if they accept the decision or not.

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