The struggle to build a new and recognizable Botswana Football Association (BFA) house amid taxing issues of internal politics is now being derailed. Roughly a year after the new BFA leadership was voted into power; conspiracy theories are now flying thick and fast.
A July interview hosted by one private radio station appears to have pitted the current BFA president MacLean Letshwiti against its former leader, Tebogo Sebego. The interview has since exposed the two contrasting faces of the BFA abode: the robust force of social equality within themselves, versus the tight control by the BFA leader and his men. It would seem the two football administrators never buried the hatchet after August 13, 2016 when Letshwiti threw Sebego off the power seat.
WeekendSport has in its possession messages detailing Sebego’s intent to either orchestrate Letshwiti’s fall as well as his ambitions to return to the rudder of BFA. By his own admission, Sebego has confirmed in his close circle of friends-a majority of whom form the nucleus of his campaign group that he is fed up with the way Letshwiti conducts himself as the leader of the association. “I feel insulted by MacLean. He doesn’t speak like a leader, and is very disrespectful. I respect other people, but his insult on (name of the radio station omitted) was the last straw for me. He needs to be put in his place,” a message to Sebego’s confidantes reads.
WeekendSport could not uncover the contents of the interview with Letshwiti on the said radio station, but it is said the BFA leader was taking swipe at the past regime for failing to pay player allowances as way back as 2014. When approached with the damning information, Letshwiti laughed off the chronometer of the events and says, “I am on the right path, I am busy cleaning the BFA mess.” While he could not divulge any more information, he said that his dream of turning the association into a professional set up is still alive. However, this publication can reveal, that there is a section of football administrators-past and incumbent-conniving to sabotage the current regime.
It appears that the Sebego group is happy to pin their hopes on Masego Nchingane – who heads the BFA technical wing. Nchingane, a former Zebras player, formed part of Sebego lobby group that contested for elections last year. He was one of the two administrators who won the seat from the Sebego side. His being inside Lesthwiti’s executive committee might be a point of reference to settle old scores. However, Letshwiti is in denial when it comes to Nchingane. He sees Nchingane as the best performing administrator at Lekdi football centre. Ironically Sebego praises Nchingane the same way the current president does.
“You are one of our future leaders and I want you not to derail. You are a good administrator and have the right credentials…” Sebego further wrote. The current regime is aware of the growing plot to oust the president. Football think tanks instrumental in the rise of Letshwiti to the BFA plum post argue that administrators serving within NEC and across different regions should be brought to book for their way ward behavior. Nchingane and the first division south chairman, Samuel Keitireng are walking a tight rope, not for their affiliation with Sebego, but for taking the interest of football to the jaws of the enemy.
With only a few days left (under a week) to the BFA first annual assembly since Letswhiti took the office, there were purpoted secret meetings held to trigger the fall of leadership. Sebego, although denying many times, appears to be ready to pounce back. He sees Letshwiti as a Sheppard leading the flock into dangerous territories. Sebego, while ironically referring to Letshwiti as “the President” wrote to his allies: “The president is pompous and is not willing to learn..it is bad for the association.”
Meanwhile, Letshwiti is on defence mode and has fired back during an interview with this publication, “I found a functionless league. I am repairing the existing structures. There was no youth league when I got into office; it has been introduced under my watch,” he says. “Believe it or not, I found the association plunging into serious debts. The accounts were on a red tape for the past 5 years. We are still trying to recover from the 10.5 million debt, yet it is claimed we are on a free fall,” he said further.
When reached for comment by this publication, Sebego denied being involved in any alleged ongoing fracas at BFA. “For now I am out of football and I’m relaxed I don’t want to be involved in football wrangles, but whenever there is something that is failing the incumbent attributes it to the past leadership. We have been in the game and football growth is a concern. There should be culture of respect, Fani (David) has never castigated Makgelemele (Philip) and I never did the same on Fani it is courtesy or humility.
But when you hear untruths or incorrect information about you it will concern you. We should respect each other; the reason why players are striking could not be attributed to us, during our times we did everything and it is disturbing to hear this peddled about you,” he highlighted in the lengthy tell-all interview.
“I was hurt but I didn’t have chance to respond, but the message is clear we should respect each other. The language used was not professional at all. I called and told him about it because I won’t talk on the corner and asked him to bring the facts, and he did apologise saying he was under pressure and stressed by a number of things including dismal performance of the national team,” he revealed further. Sebego further said: “I’m dealing with my law firm but I’m not lost to football, I keep sharing information with some because of my experience. I like imparting knowledge to others be it secretariat or about the laws of the game. But for now I’m just relaxed with my business,” he said, perhaps in attempt to douse rife talk that he wants to return to the hot seat.
Remnant of the historic Africa Cup of Nations squad of 2012, Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele and Botswana’s first-choice goal keeper, Kabelo Dambe, will never embody the future of the Zebras as long as Adel Amrouche is at the helm, WeekendSport has established.
The duo made this confession in the squad secret WhatsApp group seen by this publication, expressing concern and antipathy about playing for the squad heavily polarised by the coach.
It turns out that the coach has players he favours and prefers, many of who appear in the starting line-up as a long lasting promise to be signed under his stable. The aim is to ultimately recruit them to far flung clubs and earn a commission.
Ngele who remains the only player to have scored the Zebras goal (in open play) at the 2012 edition has endured a rocky affair with the coach.
Not much has been established as to why the affair is in tatters but sources claim that it stretched to a point where Amrouche confronted Ngele’s former coaches at Black Leopards to discuss possible options of side-lining him. The idea was to frustrate the player and kill his confidence as the only player Zebras looked up to.
Ngele, under former coach Peter Butler, was named the squad captain but under Amrouche, he has played cameo roles in World Cup and AFCON qualifiers. Ngele has made three appearances and came once as a substitute in all the 10 games Amrouche managed.
Ngele was hoping for his own great leap forward in an effort to end his nightmare and play for the Zebras especially after earning playing time with his new club, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
Do this day, Ngele has made more than 35 appearances for the Zebras since earning his debut in 2009. Away from The Zebras stage, Ngele made significant contributions at Platinum Stars, the first team he signed his professional contract with. In 67 games, he scored 19 times.
Amrouche’s insistency and promise to make a loud impact in this year’s qualifiers did not bear fruit. Part of the blame is shoved on Township Rollers stopper, Kabelo Dambe. He is accused to have failed to stand strong for Zebras and shipped in simpler goals that cost the team to book a flight to Cameroon next year.
A goal against Algeria on home soil and a goal by Zimbabwe last month could have never gone through had he positioned himself better, critics claim.
Dambe who has more than 44 caps and played all Zebras games under Amrouche feels hard done and had hoped the coach and the nation would protect him. He feels the ambition of the country to qualify mirrors a tomorrow that could never come because of his mistakes.
Botswana Football Association (BFA) General Manager of National Teams, Monnakgotla Mojaki when pressed for interview failed to provide details about the future of the two stars.
He expressed concern that he was never hands on when the squad played the qualifiers. This according to Mojaki, was the case because the coach had barred him from mingling with the players.
“I am sorry I cannot assist you with anything, I know nothing and remember I have not spoken to anybody since I was asked not to come to camp,” he shared.
Both Dambe and Ngele are not only equally unhappy but are also equal in age; both are 30 years and have played for Platinum Stars at one point in their careers.
However, there is information to the effect that the duo made a promise to return one day, and that is when the coach has parted company with the association.
Lebogang Ditsile has begun to cast fresh doubts over his future as a Jwaneng Galaxy player. The hard tackling midfielder has handed the club management a transfer request amid rumours linking him with Gaborone United.
This week, the industrious player gave Galaxy an ultimatum -to either improve his contract benefits or let him go- this comes after a decision was taken to offer the whole team pay cuts amid the corona virus pandemic.
Galaxy has arrived at a conclusion of giving each player P3000 until a time football returns to the field.Ditsile, one of the club’ highest paid players is certainly restless and would not want to entertain a second thought over his future.
Galaxy on the other hand is feeling distraught over GU’s constant communication with the player, and are also aggrieved that the Nikholas Zakhem powered team wants to prize away their asset. Ditsile’s contract does not expire until June of 2022.
The situation is not yet explosive but it is believed to have gotten under Ditsile’s skin and it is threatening to turn ugly. Ditsile apparently is the best thing ever to happen to Galaxy and to leave them at this point will surely be a great loss that could take some time for the club to recover.
However, GU is busy making their move for their long-time target and the enterprising midfielder is said to be determined to complete the transfer before the season begins. It is said the player wants to play football without hustles, which Galaxy cannot promise at the present moment, and the allure of GU will certainly prove too much to stay from.
The team led and directed by Zakhem is reported to have promised ‘Tally’ a mouth-watering contract should he voluntarily terminate. It is however noted that GU cannot risk buying the player who is still on a running contract.
It is believed that Ditsile recognises GU as one of the country’s leading clubs, capable of competing for the grandest prizes. In the event of joining GU, Ditsile would have fulfilled his dream of playing for a rich paying club.
He has enjoyed his years at Galaxy, where he is feted by the supporters, but feels that the time is right to move on. It is impossible to dispute the value and service that he has given to the club, with last season being his best.
The fan-favourite, who has had an on and off relationship with the national team, is still held by the terms of his contract while discussions between his agent are continuing behind closed doors.
Those close to developments mention that Ditsile is yet to be shocked by the stubborn position held by the Galaxy; but the club will surely hate losing such a prized possession to their fiercest rivals.
The Galaxy management has a reputation of being tough negotiators but for Ditsile, the offer from GU is one that should be impossible to refuse.On the other hand, GU are mindful of the tactics often displayed by Botswana players.
They have a tendency of bargaining through rival clubs so as to increase salary or force the management to act swiftly.
The absence of women national league in the country has caused anxiety and alarm at Botswana Football Association (BFA) secretariat. PIC: Soccer Laduma
This is the case because the inaugural COSAFA women champions’ league is about to kick start and BFA is expected to send the name of the team that will represent the country.
As things stand, the association is caught between a rock and a hard place because they are unable to determine the deserving team. The reality facing the association is because its women nation-wide league has never been played since the first corona virus case was registered in March of 2020.
However, the association has devised a plan and a model to opt for a team that will participate in the tournament to be held between November and December of this year. The play offs are expected to commence in August.
BFA has therefore called for an expression of interest from clubs to select the most deserving team.The expression of interest, according to BFA, should cover the club’s financial viability and ability to honour its games (both home and away) without fail. According to findings, the club will need a minimum of P100 00 to play a telling role.
It is therefore highly unlikely that BFA will find a women’s team enjoying such financial freedom. In any case, the association will be forced to offer financial assistance.Township Rollers, Mexican girls and Double Action are the few teams that can possibly be selected, but a huge question mark hangs over their financial disposition.
One other thing needed through the expression of interest is the current books of accounts which will definitely show that the club has been operating. BFA is of the view that this is important because it will help in showing the financial progression of the team.
“We are very pleased with how these events were organized under very difficult circumstances,” COSAFA General Secretary, Sue Destombes said in a statement.
“We take what we learnt in Nelson Mandela Bay into our planning for 2021. We have a full calendar of tournaments at this stage. We are hopeful we will be able to stage them all, even in these most challenging times.
The highlight must be the introduction of the regional Women’s Champions League, which will be a zonal qualifier for the new CAF Women’s Champions League which is coming later this year,” she further shared.