Botswana Football Association (BFA)’s secretariat has written a strong warning letter to Lobatse based outfit Extension Gunners to remind its chairman Tariq Babitseng to respect the football constitution, a latest indication that indeed football gloves are out at Lekidi football center.
BFA complains that Tariq Babitseng, a known football soldier of former FA president Tebogo Sebego refuses to receive a compliance letter where he is ordered to retire all the outstanding balances to the association. It is indicated that Babitseng left the association almost 2 years ago after been accused of having his fingers all over the till. Babitseng once served as a Vice President of the association under Sebego‘s administration.
“We write to lodge a complaint against the conduct of one of your committee member Mr Tariq Babitseng. He has been requested to come and explain the financial misappropriation that occurred during his tenure as the NEC member,” part of the letter reads. BFA says it is disturbing that Babitseng refuses without reservation to receive or collect the letter of demand.
“We have written to Mr Babitseng who has unfortunately refused to receive the communication that was delivered to him despite having read the same. We are further informed that Mr Babitseng informed the BFA official he will collect the letter from the BFA offices which he never did despite several telephone calls to him,” the letter states.
BFA informs Gunners that this communiqué is the last resort and they are now preparing to invoke clause 3.17 of the BFA code of conduct which reads in part, “clubs shall take responsibility for any misconduct by their players, supporters, sympathizers etc.
In a parting note, the association warns Gunners to take stern action against their chairman or risks facing the music as a club.
Babitseng’s demise can be traced as back as 2012.
The whole money issue started when the Algerian U17 delegation requested for an extra night at Travel Lodge. Their request was granted on condition that they would refund the BFA during the return leg which was played in Algiers in December 2, 2012. Babitseng was chosen as Head of Delegation (HOD).
When relating his story in a letter addressed to the BFA vice president finance, management and research, Ngele Ngele, on February 25, 2013, Babitseng said the BFA was never part of the agreement between Travel Lodge and the Algerian federation. Tariq said Travel Lodge sent a quotation for an extra night together with their banking details to the BFA after the departure of the Algerian U17 team.
Their explanation for sending the quotation was because they did not know who to invoice. Notwithstanding the above, Babitseng said in the same letter that he wrote a reminder to the Algerian federation demanding that they settle the bill at Travel Lodge. In Babitseng’s letter dated 27 November 2012 he said “This is to inform you of an outstanding bill that was paid by your delegation during their stay in Botswana. This was for the 6th night as the Botswana Federation paid for their 5 days stay according to FIFA & CAF regulations. We request that you give the money to our Head of Delegation Tokyo Modise”.
Algeria settled the account as they gave Tokyo Modise USD 2 734.00 which he tried to give to the BFA accounts department upon return. According to Babitseng, one Eric Makgale directed Modise to the then acting CEO as the matter did not involve the association but Travel Lodge.
The former CEO claims that he changed the money into Pulas on December 6, 2012 and deposited P23 300 into Travel Lodge’s account at Banc ABC. “As far as I was concerned the matter was now closed as I had facilitated the payment to Travel Lodge on behalf of the Algerian federation,” Babitseng said in his letter.
He further claimed that by the time the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) settled the bill at the lodge, the P23 300 was not allocated but was left hanging in their books. It also did not appear in the Travel lodge statement sent to BNSC because the lodge had only printed a quotation and not an invoice.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of Franceâ€™s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
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.