BFA guns for Sebego
In a move seen to be dividing football opinion, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) is said to have adopted a hardline stance on its former President, Tebogo Sebego and consequently slapped him with charges for largely violating the provisions of the BFA code of conduct together with code of ethics.
It is said Sebego is to be hauled before BFA burning coals following his facebook posts he allegedly made about the association and its members roughly two months ago. BFA, after seeking legal opinion, believes that Sebego’s posts were made by an official of the BFA and that the posts violate the rules and regulations of the association on the conduct of officials—what they may not say or do.
Sebego allegedly wrote that, “So these football cowards are using unorthodox methods to try stop others from standing for elections, they need a small lesson.” He continued, “Which organisation facilitates the breach of its own governing statues? This is a constitutional circus. Satan rules.” BFA, as led by Mac Lean Letshwiti sternly believes that the facebook posts were made by a president of a football club that is affiliated to the BFA, and which club is therefore a member of the BFA as defined in the constitution.
Having understood that position, BFA says article 9 of the constitution obliges officials of the BFA to observe, among other, the statutes/constitution, regulations, directives, decisions and the code of ethics of the BFA in their activities. BFA says its codes of ethics apply to conduct that is seen to be damaging the integrity and reputation of football. This, according to legal advisor, the article mentioned applies to all officials, in this case is Sebego.
It is further mentioned that all officials are obliged to commit to an ethical attitude, to behave in a dignified manner and to act with integrity. The code of ethics, which Sebego has allegedly contravened, is so strict that the breach of it will sanctioned irrespective of whether or not the conduct complained of was committed deliberately or negligently. Sebego also wrote, “You smoke out spineless leaders through court process…I told you all about this evil man. I warned football about him. He lacks self-esteem and uses dirty tricks all the time.”
It is further believed that referring to BFA officials as ‘coward’’ a spineless leader” an evil man; one who lacks self-esteem…all appear to be clear violation of article 3.7 BFA code of conduct. BFA notes that an official who, as it were, vents out in rage in the manner shown in the quote facebook posts fail to honour the agreed procedures for communicating their dissatisfactions- a violation of article 3.14 of code of conduct.
BFA legal minds further believe that launching a vicious assault of this nature via facebook platform, which invariably invites further assaults by persons who comment on the posts, raises questions of credibility and respect not only on those that are attacked but also on the attacker himself.
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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer
The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.
Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.
“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”
Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.
“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”
HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY DO THIS?
By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.
Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.
“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”
He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”
However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”
“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”