League status ubder threat

Extension Gunners are reportedly skating on a very thin ice relating to their status as a Botswana Football League (BFL) outfit due to failure to satisfy club licensing requirements.

The Peleng giants alongside at least four (4) BFL sides, have reportedly failed the litmus test to satisfy club licensing manual, which holds a ticket to compete in the local top tier league.

The four clubs mentioned include, Morupule Wanderers, Extension Gunners, Mogoditshane Fighters and newly promoted Eleven Angels.

The First Instance Body (FIB), a body under the BFA responsible for issuing club licenses has been making assessments over the submissions made by the clubs, and early indications are that the some teams have not met the set standards.

The latest information gathered by this publication is that, for Extension Gunners and Mogoditshane Fighters, the challenge to tick all the boxes for compliance is nearly impossible.

Gunners are said to be facing a mammoth task to clear their overdue payables owed to former employees, amongst them, former coaches, Stanley Mwanga, Enos Mmesi and Tumi Duiker.

“They will need a miracle, their books don’t look good and it is really sad for the club of their stature. The sad part is that, when the people who are owed know that club licensing evaluations are made, they come forth and present their cases but for Gunners, unfortunately some of these cases have always been there,” a source at Lekidi shared.

The Peleng giants was also recently in hot soup over a possible transfer ban instructed by FIFA, in a similar case which included outstanding payments of Zimbabwean international Kudzanai Machazani, amortization arrangement with BFA were made which satisfied the world football governing body.

Contacted for comment, newly appointed Extension Gunners chairman, Bruno Masisi admitted that indeed the club has failed the club licensing manual but calmly relayed that the situation is under control.

“We failed because of two issues, the first one was physiotherapist and secondly the debt that we find the club in. We tendered an appeal to First Instance Body [FIB], and on Monday it was our hearing. We have since appointed a physiotherapist, her license had expired but all have since been sorted out. As for our debts, it is difficult but we have engaged people we owe, and we came up with friendly payment plans that the club can manage,” Masisi shared.

“Almost all of them have agreed, except for one person, Mr Mwanga, who has already hit us with a garnish order from the industrial court; so the payment plan won’t work,“ Gunners chairman revealed.

Masisi allayed fears that the club could find itself competing in the lowest football structures of BFA, adding that they have the capacity to clear their debts.

“If you look at our debts and our annual cash inflow, I don’t think we are in a position where we are unable to clear our debts. The problem has been ignorance on our part regarding the debts but annual inflow suggests we are in a good position to clear our debts,” he said.

Last year, Notwane, Extension Gunners, Mahalapye Railway Highlanders, Gilport Lions and Mogoditshane Fighters also failed to clear the licensing hurdle but they were successful in their appeals after citing COVID-19 challenges and were pardoned by the BFA’s Appeals Body to remain in the league.

This matter has also led to the delay of BFL fixtures being released—the BFL bosses have been notified that some teams may not be in the league once all the due diligence of the FIB are complete.

Failure to comply with the required measures automatically relegates the involved club to the lowest tie of the BFA league structure.

Eleven Angels are expected to overcome the hurdle after their head coach, Seemo Mpatane was accredited with his CAF B licensing certificate, a tool that was missing in their file.

Mochudi Centre Chiefs, despite being in the First Division were part of the teams that had produced red flags.

Magosi owed former striker, Terrence Mandaza P60 000 but had already paid P50 000 according to inside information at Lekidi, the remaining P10 000 was only paid on Monday to clear them off any troubles.