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BFA gags Tariq

Extension Gunners Chairman Tariq Babitseng can no longer represent his club at the Botswana Premier League Board or hold/contest for any position under the association’ structures after failing numerous times to account for BFA resources, the association has said.

BFA through their president Mac Lean Letshwiti has written a letter to Babitseng and Extension Gunners president on December 2018 that he is not eligible to hold any position unless he clears his name regarding financial irregularities recorded under his watch. However, Babitseng over the years has maintained his innocence and even went further to urge the association to “disassociate itself from the ongoing witch -hunt exercise which really is the basis of this out-of –time matters.”

The association has, in the said letter, chronicled Babitseng’s ‘unbecoming behavior’ and presented him 15th January 2019, as a deadline date to have responded. Sources however, state that Babitseng has not replied to the letter but has now turned his attention to the demands of his club, Gunners. On Monday, Babitseng took his committee by surprise when he suspended his vice chairman for what he termed ‘insubordination.’ It is not yet clear if his vice is sleeping with his enemy.   

BFA says in 2015, Tariq Babitseng, who by then was the BFA Vice President – Administration, was appointed head of delegation (HOD) for the AFCON qualifier game between Zebras and Guinea Bissau, which was played in Guinea Bissau. Following the said game, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) was said to have picked some financial irregularities pertaining to the use of the contingency funds.

Then as an immediate response, the National Executive Committee (NEC) appointed a three member Committee of inquiry, whose objective was to undertake an investigation into the alleged misuse of the contingency funds. It is said that the Committee subsequently produced a report that confirmed, among other things, that indeed Tariq Babitseng as the ex-HOD mismanaged the contingency funds. Based on the report findings, the Gunners chairman was dismissed from the NEC. His dismissal was subsequently confirmed by the General Assembly, BFA claims.

The association wrote that, “in August of last year, when we learnt that Mr Babitseng was appointed the Extension Gunners FC Chairperson, we gave him a further opportunity to account for the funds. As you were made aware, Mr Babitseng was uncooperative through the process.  To this day, he has not fully accounted for the funds. In terms of Article 2.20 of the BFA Code of Conduct (COC) 2016, officials who fail to account for the BFA resources are not eligible to hold any BFA position.

To this end, you are informed that Mr Babitseng can no longer represent Extension Gunners at the Botswana Premier League Board or hold any position in the BFA in terms of Article 2.20 of the BFA Code of Conduct,” part of the letter reads. Babitseng says he has never seen the said letter but expressed disappointment on the part of the association.

He said, “this is a sad story for Botswana Football. I do not know why these guys are trying to bring back an issue that has been dealt with before. When leadership is vote into power, its mandate is to run the game and to purge those who hold a different view from yours,” Babitseng warned.

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