When the dust settles, three notable football administrators are anticipated to battle it out for the power seat at Botswana Premier League (BPL). The BPL Chief Executive Officer post has yet to be advertised but will be in the near future, and already potential candidates’ names are being sounded out.
WeekendSport understands that the current acting CEO, Thabo Ntshinogang, former Green Lovers Chairman and a member of the premier league board, Solomon Ramochotlhwane together with Setete Phuthego- a former premier league general manager are top of the list among sports titans to be considered when recruiting for the post.
The board of governors which consists of 16 premier league chairpersons will spear head the recruitment process while the association is expected, as before, to endorse the chosen individual. While the premier league is still trying to play the cards close to its chest, this publication has been told that the league prefers to head hunt its CEO, and it appears from the afore mentioned names, one will eventually ascend to the plum post. Now WeekendSport runs the ruler over the credentials and experience of the trio to possibly examine their fate.
Currently acting as CEO after the suspension- and later the expulsion of Bennett Mamelodi, Ntshinogang is a refined sports administrator. While some of his detractors condemn him for sitting on crucial decisions for a long time, Styles, as he has grown to be called in the football arena, is the only BFA CEO to complete his tenure post the Ashford Mamelodi era.
He has consulted and worked for sports at different levels. As an owner and director of Stillistics Sportainment Company, Ntshinogang is part of a team which developed the Sustainability Strategy for the Botswana National Sports Council’s Active Community Clubs (ACC) Programme – from 2013 to 2014. The strategy was funded by Australian Sports Commission.
In 2010, Ntshinogang was also part of a wonderful team that designed a paper strategy concept for the National Sports Commission. Ntshinogang is also credited as a project coordinator while still under the wings of BNSC sometimes in September 2007. The portfolio saw him successfully coordinating and managing the first ever Botswana Games held in December 2007 by meeting strict project timeline and budget requirements.
But it is at the football association where the administrator made his mark. A couple of appraisals indicate that, at his prime from August 2004 to September 2007, the then BFA sponsors were ecstatic in as far as relationship was concerned. Styles holds a Master’s in Sports Management and this is supplemented by other various sports courses he did over the years. Whether he will be eventually chosen as the best candidate is open to debate, but his proficiency remains crucial as the BFA is faced with a taxing and tricky situation of re-negotiating with sponsors.
A careful perusal of Ramochotlhwane’s credentials reveals a football administrator who is well versed on all aspects of the game. The former Green Lovers chairman- a Serowe based outfit, is a relatively new pawn to the political landscape of Botswana football, he commands respect without ever demanding it, wherever he goes. He stands out as an administrator with acumen of a coaching guru. His technical version of the game jumps out, and if chosen, he too, would not disappoint. Many are believed to have admiration for him largely because he is not corrupted by football politics.
While this is a plus for him, the danger in choosing Solly, – who holds a Master’s in Finance- is that he lacks experience in leadership. Often times, the CEO of the league faces a stubborn board of governors when making crucial decisions. Ramochotlhwane however holds the same vision as that of the president of the Botswana Football Association MacLean Letswiti when it comes to commercialising football. Over a period of 10 years, from-2007-2017, Solly attended courses under the association and best arises as a technical expert. He would need minimum supervision.
The story of Phuthego is well documented and is a known football servant from time immemorial. Phuthego came to the Premier League sometimes in 2005 deputising the then Administrative Secretary of the league Comfort Ramatebele. At the time, his position was better known as the league secretary. It was in 2007 that he ascended to the post of Administrative secretary when his senior, Ramatebele, parted ways with the league under a cloud of animosity.
In 2008, when Botswana Telecommunication Corporation(BTC) first came on board as sponsors for the league, Phuthego was elevated to the post of General Manager which he was ‘forced’ to leave after a cold spell of war with BFA that reached the industrial court. He would later resurface at Township Rollers as their first general manager before succumbing to prolonged illness that eventually forced him to leave the job.
Recently, Phuthego was engaged by Selibe Phikwe troubled outfit Satmos as a ‘parent’ to help them argue their cases with the premier league. He remains the only candidate who understands the football language of negotiating with sponsors. If chosen, the association has to be prepared to dispel back lash for re-cycling personnel. Both premier league sponsors (BTC and Mascom) were negotiated under his nose. Under his stewardship, the league brand grew bigger with impressive numbers and the stadium before dwindling down in the last few years.
The CEO post was first crafted in 2012 after a consultation exercise led by the then premier league chairman Mike Molefhe. Bennett Mamelodi therefore became the first football mind to occupy it. Early this year, the league house entertained the thought of phasing out the post but has since somersaulted.
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.