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BFA shakes off bribe allegations

Botswana Football Association (BFA) is breaking sweat to clear its name and that of its president Maclean Letshwiti over strong allegations of corrupt practices at Lekidi football centre.

Serious bribe claims were made against the association that transactions amounting to P 20 000 were traced through Confederation of African Football (CAF) route as payment for  loyalty to the African football throne. The association has now come out gun blazing, refuting allegations that CAF has paid president Letshwiti as a measure of nurturing his faithfulness and devotion to CAF authorities. BFA has absolved itself from the said claims rather citing CAF correspondences that bear proof about the origins and purposes of the money.

According to CAF paper communiqué seen by WeekendSport, it was resolved in April 11, 2019 that a decision has been made to increase annual grant of all national associations affiliated to CAF. The grant amount increase is USD 200 000. BFA says this money is not a result of bribery, but it is a product of answering football demands of the African game. The association agrees that it has received the said amount and proceed to transact half of the monies to its president as per CAF instructions.

“Yes, of course we have received the money, but it is not bribery money but rather it is for the president and other specified CAF projects. It is shocking that some people believe this is bribery,” BFA Chief executive officer Mfolo Mfolo said. “Remember, this money is not only paid to BFA, but all other countries,” he stressed.CAF has 54 member states affiliated, including Botswana.

The CAF letter bearing the dates of April 17 reads in part, “ following  the CAF executive committee held in  on the 11th and 12th of April on Cairo, Egypt, we would like to inform you of the decision to double the annual grant allocated by CAF to all affiliated national Associations. Thus, the annual grant will increase from USD 100 000 to USD 200 000.”The letter further states that; “10% equivalent to USD 20 000 as compensatory allowance for each president of the federation. 90% equivalent to USD 180 000 for the support of youth football and participation in the coverage of official fees.”

Bribe claims were first whistle blown by former senior CAF executive member, Amr Fahmy, who was the secretary to CAF president Ahmad. The Egyptian has been expelled from the committee after accusing his former boss of bribes and misuse of hundreds of thousands of dollars.BFA on the other hand claims to have traced the route of all these allegations. In their findings, the association says a report compiled by international online publication  known as Reuters has raised these claims, fed from the expelled member. 

Furthermore, BFA says the bribe allegations had made mention of two member states; Cape Verde and Tanzania where the latter has already refuted the claims. BFA‘s Mfolo says “it is shocking that some local reports have to include Botswana without further scrutiny.” 

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