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BPL benchmarks from South Africa’s PSL

Publishing Date : 12 February, 2018


A delegation from Botswana Premier League (BPL) has set off to neighbouring South Africa on a benchmarking mission as a way of it improving the local game. The delegation will pick the brains of Premier Soccer League (PSL) master minds.

The meeting is the second of its kind since the new BFA administration assumed power with the first discussion having been held by President MacLean Letshwiti in the company of SAFA President Danny Jordan, early last year. This publication has been informed that the two parties are expected to exchange discussions of bettering the game where Botswana is anticipated to be the main beneficiary. In the same meeting, WeekendSport has learnt, PSL chairman Irvin Khoza, also owner of Orlando Pirates, will be present to pitch some ideas.

Sources further say the BPL delegation which is still calling for corporate identity in football has dreams to change the fortunes of the domestic game once and for all. The delegation is anticipated to watch the game between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City and embark on a ‘behind the scene’ tour.

At the top of the agenda, reports suggest, the BPL is more focused in turning the premier league into an attractive spectacle where sponsors can fight to be associated with the game. The league to this point has only two sponsors, Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) as the title sponsors as well as Mascom Wireless who powers the Top 8 competition.

Moreover, reports say the BPL delegation will also bring up the issue of the local premier league which is currently pushing for autonomy. This is anticipated to open BFA files and analyse the model they deem fit to help the league administer its own affairs. Late last year, the task committee presented the case for ‘BPL independence’ with case studies from Kenya and South Africa’s premier leagues for the National Executive Committee to choose an appropriate model. It was however believed that the choice will ultimately come from one of the two.

Informants have however somewhat expressed concern over the delay by the Association as the matter is lying unattended at Lekidi football centre.  But on the other hand, BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo has said his association is looking to come with a blue print to help teams to attract sponsors.

The current status quo in Botswana is that, the league board is made of sixteen premier league chairpersons, there is a board executive committee which the premier league chairman and his vice are part of. There is also a chief executive officer who happens to head the league secretariat.

Although the league‘s dream of standing alone from the BFA comes from afar, it is widely reported that this time around Letshwiti is eager to leave no stone unturned  in efforts to give his NEC and the BPL a positive answer. The bench marking move now answers the long standing premier league intentions of roping in former General Manager of the South African Premier Soccer League, Derek Blanckensee. He is believed to have held talks with Botswana Football Association (BFA) about possibilities of him becoming the next Botswana Premier League’s head of secretariat.

He is one of the most experienced administrators in football, had been with the PSL since 2010 to July of last year. Among other tasks, he fine-tuned the PSL match operations in line with international Fifa standards. He gained extensive knowledge as CEO of Bidvest Wits, with his administration career having started back in 1978 when he was the secretary of the Wits University Junior Football Club. Blanckensee, who took over from Ace Ncobo, was the 2010 Fifa World Cup local organizing committee’s chief competitions officer and his duties included overseeing stadium readiness, team services, venue management and tournament operations.



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