- BPL settles P500 000 arrears with referees
- Most match officials had been unpaid since January, March
The Botswana Premier League has officially confirmed that outstanding wages of referees, stemming from last season, were paid last week following fruitful talks between both camps. The league body did not reveal the exact amount they paid to the referees through the approval of the National Referees Commission but unconfirmed rumours suggest that the arrears had reached P500 000 as months piled on.
Match officials are reportedly paid P700 per match for league games, they finished the season unpaid as the league body was engulfed in financial problems that also saw them struggle and ultimately fail to pay clubs their monthly grants. Sources have informed this publication that most match officials have been unpaid since January and others since March, on average referees can officiate four or five games in a month and they had started to feel the burden.
There were fears that referees would be reluctant to officiate as the new league season approaches because they were previously but those fears have been erased. Despite the late payment, the National Referees Commission had always been optimistic of receiving their overdue payments before the season kicks off and their patience has paid off.
The issues of late payments of referees has haunted the league for many years, at some stages in those years the match officials had threatened to boycott league matches protesting the late processing of their wages.
BPL acting Chief Executive Officer Thabo Ntshinogang confirmed the news in an interview with Gazette Sport on Monday. “Referees have been paid, the payment was processed last week and we are all ready for the new season. There are no outstanding debts. The focus is now firmly on the start of the new season,” Ntshinogang confirmed.
A member of the Referees Commission also informed this reporter that all referees have been paid. “It took a while but everyone has been paid. All referees in the country received their wages last week, we have cross checked and confirmed that all have been paid,” said the member who requested anonymity.