Burkina Faso: Clubs protest as League 1 and 2 championships suspended

Burkina Faso: Clubs protest as League 1 and 2 championships suspended

The Hauts-Bassins and Centre regional soccer leagues are threatening to suspend their participation in the various competitions organized by the Burkina Faso Football Federation (FBF). Among other things, they are demanding payment of 4 months' arrears of grants for the 2022-2023 season.

In Burkina Faso, soccer clubs have applied for and received a subsidy from the state since 2014 to support the development of soccer. Following the sound use of the funds granted by the State and in order to take into account the development of soccer in its entirety, the stakeholders (clubs, Burkinabe Football Federation and Ministry in charge of Sports) decided in 2017 to withhold 25% of the subsidy for the organization of the small category championship. This withholding enabled the successful organization of the small category championships in 2019. In the 2019-2020 season, due to covid-19, the championship was not held and the funds were returned to the clubs.

It's just that since the 2020-2021 season, the cuts have continued to be made, but the competitions have not gone ahead properly. For the 2022-2023 season, the clubs have not received the full subsidy on the grounds that the 25% withheld by the Burkinabe Football Federation was unjustified.Faced with the failure of their various efforts, the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs, through the Ligue régionale du Centre de soccer, sent a letter to FBF President Lazare Banssé, demanding that the 25% deduction be reimbursed to the clubs who are the real beneficiaries. It is up to them to produce the relevant supporting documents. They are also demanding payment of the 4 months' arrears of grants for the 2022-2023 season. In addition, they are calling for an end to cuts to the subsidies allocated to League 1 and League 2 clubs.

"The clubs have provided proof of the six months they have received. But naturally the 25% has been cut.And so the National Fund for the Promotion of Sport and Leisure says, if you don't justify, I won't give you the money anymore. The clubs justified, but the Federation couldn't justify the 25% because it hadn't organized the competition. So that created a blockage and this blockage meant that the clubs didn't receive the other four months of the 2022-2023 season. That's what we're fighting for," explains David Yaméogo, president of Faso Athletic Club (FAC).

Postponement of League 1 and 2 days 11 and 6

To force the Fédération burkinabè de soccer (FBF) to engage in dialogue, the League 1 and 2 clubs have decided to suspend their participation in the national soccer championships until further notice, if their request for a halt to and reimbursement of the deduction from the grants awarded to the teams by the Ministry in charge of sports through the Fonds national pour la promotion des sports et des loisirs (FNPSL) has not been met.

This decision to suspend their participation in FBF competitions has already resulted in the postponement of the League 1 and 2 championships scheduled for November 10, 11 and 12, 2023, and could even have an impact on the normal running of the calendar."The Ligue de soccer professionnel (LFP) informs leagues, clubs, districts, the CCA, the press and the sporting public of the postponement of the eleventh day of Ligue 1 and the sixth day of Ligue 2. The LFP apologizes to all those involved for any inconvenience this postponement may cause", stated the LFP press release.

Clubs ready for dialogue with FBF

In order to avoid any negative impact on the current season's schedule in Burkina Faso, the League 1 and 2 clubs are inviting the Burkinabe Football Federation (FBF) to the dialogue table, and are not ruling out the intervention of a third party to resolve the problem. "We are communicating with the Federation. They sent us a letter saying that they were going to hand over the 25% to the Fund. We told them that's not possible. It's our money. You have to give us the money. In any case, if there are people who can take the initiative to renew contact so that we can talk, so that there is no crisis, it will be in everyone's interest. We are ready for dialogue", concluded David Yaméogo.

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