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First Division likely to lose Debswana sponsorship

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BFA president Tebogo Sebego remains optimistic that Debswana will renew its P2 million sponsorship for the First Division North and South league.

The three – year deal expires at the end of this season. Sources close to both camps say that by end of last season Debswana had already indicated to BFA that it was unlikely to renew the sponsorship citing certain contractual infringements.

The agreement was that BFA must give Debswana mileage through proper packaging which included stadia branding and live broadcasts of first division matches as well as negotiating with national television broadcaster to feature a weekly first division magazine show.

These would have promoted the giant mining company by showing how diamonds benefit locals. Sadly, the sponsor feels this has not happened. Games continued to be played without branding the sponsor in first division grounds with the sponsor only getting mileage as title sponsors whenever there were media reports on their fixtures and results.

In a kneejerk reaction calculated to assuage the sponsor, BFA is said to have rushed to the premier league office seeking space for parameter advertising in live broadcasts of beMOBILE fixtures to include Debswana and other BPL strategic partners like Huawei and Grand Palm.

Although BFA president has attributed the rift with the sponsor to lack of experience by some of the handlers, there are reports that Debswana is not happy with how the whole deal went through.

Debswana sponsorship has resurrected and brought life to first division. The level of competiveness and excitement has greatly improved as has the level of officiating. Referees were paid P580 per fixture while teams were given a once off P50 000 grant to supplement their budget. Not only did this ease their financial burden but it helped the teams to scout and sign quality players from lower  tier leagues and in some cases even the premier league.

Sources within Lekidi told BG Sport that in its desperation, the BFA now wants to move the national first division under the ambit of the BPL office so that it can be given the necessary attention that the premier league is giving the beMOBILE sponsorship.

Contacted for comment on developments around the sponsorship, BFA president Sebego said: “Debswana sponsorship negotiations have already started. My CEO is handling the matter and I am confident that Debswana will continue with their sponsorship.” But some first division officials who didn’t want to be named expressed frustration at the way BFA is handling the matter.

One said that should Debswana pull out it would lend a death blow to first division as they’ll no longer be able to pay referees, sign quality players or buy their teams proper training equipment, bottled water and energy drinks. Another official said that if renewed the BFA should allow the first division national committee to manage the sponsorship.

He said that first division has capable and qualified people from different professional backgrounds who can manage and give sponsors value for their money. For the first time in its history, first division teams that got promoted to the premier league were very competitive and have not been relegating unlike in the past when they would relegate the same season.

Sankoyo Bush Bucks, Miscellaneous and Orapa United –which have all graduated from First Division – bear testimony to the role played by Debswana in the lower division league.

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Sports

Heelang, hands off journalists!

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In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.

There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.

That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.

Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.

There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.

Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?

Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.

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Abidal punches ticket to TS Galaxy

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[PHOTO:www.facebook.com/TownshipRollersFC]

Township Rollers’s defensive Midfielder Gape ‘Abidal’ Mohutsiwa has confirmed that he will be plying his trade at South African based TS Galaxy next season.

This follows rife speculation that Mohutsiwa’s deal with Galaxy might have somehow fallen off. The strong suspicions came about last week when the national first division side communicated the team’s new signings. Local based players of Mosha Gaolaolwe, Thero Setsile and Ezekiel Morake were mentioned in the list and Mohutsiwa’s name was suspiciously omitted. As if that was not enough, the team went on to show off pictures of the trio signing contracts with the team management but still no mention of Mohutsiwa.

Speaking to Sun Sport this week, Mohutsiwa explained that he had seen the communication but made nothing from it. “I am still going because even my work permit is ready, all is well and there is no need to panic,” he said.

The 22-year-old pointed out that TS Galaxy had informed that they will communicate dates to join them in South Africa. He is expecting their call anytime after completing the season this coming weekend.

“I also saw those pictures with the management and its is not like they signed the contracts last week. I suspect that they were just appreciating the performance made by my fellow colleagues Morake and Setsile during the COSAFA championships staged in Durban South Africa,” said Mohutsiwa.

The young Abidal as he is well known is convinced that the TS Galaxy management was just ‘boasting’ about the kind of talent they are bringing to their team. “I did not perform to the best of my ability during COSAFA championships but I cannot say they were neglecting me, I am actually fine with it,” he said.

Mohutsiwa added that as young as he is, he believes that he has a lot to offer and the intention is not to return home in a year or so. He has been signed for three years and the expectation is that he completes his term and perhaps find other lucrative deals out there.

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