BFL claims just over 17m from Mascom over alleged breach of contract

The love affair between Botswana Football League (BFL) and Mascom Wireless ended sourly last year after the latter pulled out of the Top 8 tournament sponsorship, a move that reportedly left the BFL perplexed and flabbergasted.

The two companies reportedly agreed on a three year deal that was to see Mascom inject over P17 million into the coffers of the BFL over the period of the deal, and 5.7 million was to be availed per season.

According to reliable informants, the BFL have now served Mascom with summons which entails that the telecommunications giants must pay the football league a reported amount of just over Seventeen million (17 306 261, 00).

The BFL reportedly had already planned for a sponsorship launch, in fact, the local top league officials had already started drafting fixtures schedule of the next segment of the tournament.

Contacted for a comment, the BFL chief Executive Officer, Senzo Mbatha confirmed to this publication that indeed Mascom has been served with court documents in relation to a matter concerning breach of contract.

“It is a matter that has been on the table for a long time, the board resolved to take this decision; I can tell you there has been several attempts to resolve the matter.

"The league has tried so much to ask them to come to the table and resolve the issue, there has been at least four attempts requesting for a meeting with Mascom and all those requests failed to bear any fruits.

"With the financial crunch we are facing, we wanted to amicably resolve this matter but the board has been left with no choice but to resort to take this route,” the BFL Chief Executive Officer, Senzo Mbatha told BG Sport.

Part of the details handed to Mascom by BFL which BG Sport have access to, argues that, “the agreement concluded on one hand between Botswana Football League (Pty) Ltd and on the other hand Mascom Wireless Botswana (Pty) Ltd for the sponsorship of Mascom Top 8 Tournament is valid.”

The 2nd point of the document declared that the Mobile giants have breached the agreement by failure to provide sponsorship for the tournament, subsequently failing their obligation as per the agreement between the two companies.

Last year Mascom announced to the local media that it was pulling out of the deal through a press statement and the company indicated that the decision was taken after thorough evaluation and deliberations. “This is as an outcome of the challenges to our business fundamentals, due in large part to the current socio-economic climate which has resulted in financial constraints and not allowed us to commit the resources necessary for a successful

delivery of the Mascom Top 8,” the company’s’ statement read.

Following their announcement to walk out of the deal, reports suggest that they requested for a 40% decrease on the sponsorship funds due to financial problems and the BFL countered the proposal and suggested a 20% cut would be ideal but there was no consensus.

Efforts to get a response from Mascom proved futile as they had not replied to our questionnaire at press time.