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Mamelodi loses big against BFA

The case in which Bennett Mamelodi was claiming unfair dismissal has been discharged at the Gaborone High Court. The court, on the 4th of October, recorded that the Botswana Football Association (BFA), has no case to answer against the embattled former Chief Executive Officer of the premier league.
 

Mamelodi had previously argued that the forensic report that the association relied upon was not authentic and therefore has damaged his reputation beyond repair. The former CEO argued that, at best, the report be set aside so that his fate can be thoroughly determined. However, the high court observed that even if Mamelodi is granted his wish, it will have no consequence as his dismissal was not be reversed under any circumstance by the association. This is primarily the case because his contract had long been terminated.

“The high court has granted absolution from instance against Mr. Mamelodi, in a case which he was claiming for unfair dismissal,” a source told WeekendSport. The source further observes that the case stands dismissed and Mamelodi is directed to pay costs of suit. The Football Association dismissed the former Sports consultant almost 3 years ago, leaning heavily on the forensic audit report conducted few months after he was suspended. Mamelodi through his lawyer argued at length-at the industrial court, high court and also at the court of appeal- that the same audit report was not reliable, and it was unfair for it to trigger his downfall.

Mamelodi prayed before the high court and also the court of appeal that the forensic report be set aside more because he was not even subjected to a disciplinary hearing. Moreover, Mamelodi who is the younger brother to Ashford Mamelodi, argued that forensic report upon which the alleged charges were framed or constituted, was in fact not adopted by the Executive Committee or the General Committee of the BFA. It was the view of Mamelodi that, given the issues of adoption by the executive committee, the BFA could have not charged him on the basis of a document that had not been formally adopted.  As if it was not enough, Mamelodi also challenged the forensic report as premised on draft financial regulations of BFA that, he contented throughout that were never adopted. His desperate cry was that the forensic audit report accused him of fraud, theft, maladministration, dishonesty and criminal activity. Mamelodi believed that, given severity of the report, he was entitled to a hearing to answer to the findings raised before the report was finalized.

However, BFA contested that the objective of the forensic audit was to investigate the operations of the Botswana Premier League for compliance with its binding procedures. The association also argued that there was no legal obligation for Mamelodi to make representations during the conduct of the forensic audit. Furthermore, BFA believes that the audit does not constitute conclusive evidence against Mamelodi or anyone but merely raises issue with Mamelodi’s role. Therefore, BFA took a stand that Mamelodi would have opportunity to rebut the charges laid as premised from the audit report at the disciplinary hearing. But at the end, the court of appeal took a similar opposition that there is no point in setting aside the forensic report largely because it was not going to affect anything. This is the case more because the association had already terminated Mamelodi’s contract as the issue was on going.

Mamelodi was head hunted in 2012, by the leadership of Mike Molefhe. He was primarily brought to bring more sponsors into the league, as his football language was deemed ‘too convincing to ignore.’ However, his ascendency to this post raffled few feathers. The board did not agree in unison regarding his coming, some saying at least the post be advertised to avoid  a case that the former sports consultant was being favoured. He was later to encounter opposition of many kinds when he tried to negotiate with the world class television in Super Sport Channel to beam Botswana premier league games.

 

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

30th January 2023

With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.

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Clubs petition Zackhem, Jagdish Shah

23rd January 2023

Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.

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P80 million windfall for BFA

9th January 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.

The Forward 3.0 funds – to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.

According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.

“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,” Infantino noted.

The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.

“A contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and referees’ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,” the report indicated.

FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.

Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.

For the specific projects – in the case of Botswana and Namibia – there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.

The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.

When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; “Ours is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.”

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