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Mamelodi buys more time

Suspended Botswana Premier League (BPL) CEO; Bennet Mamelodi, had his disciplinary hearing postponed to next week after he slipped a sick-leave note to his principals at Botswana Football Association, a few hours before the hearing.

The hearing was initially scheduled to commence on Wednesday this week but has been postponed to next week. A definite date has yet to be set. In what is believed to be a calculated move to counter BFA’s intentions of getting rid of him, Mamelodi submitted the leave further lingering his face within football. The leave was expected to span until yesterday (Friday).

The BPL is currently under the administration of Thabo Ntshinogang who is on a care-taker basis. The hearing will give the premier league a direction as Ntshinogang is not bestowed with all the powers to run the office like a fully employed administrator. Ever since his suspension in March last year, Mamelodi has been a regular figure at the courts of law fighting for his reinstainment. However in all the occasions, ‘Benito’, represented by Dutch Leburu, has lost with costs. Sources believe that his days are numbered and that the disciplinary hearing is just a window covering exercise. Both the BPL board and BFA are unanimous in that Mamelodi should be banished from Lekidi Football parameters.

Among the misdemeanors which have thrown the CEO out of favour with his employers, are the swelling reports of fraud, unaccountability and favoritism. These ills engulfed the office under his management. Besides, the former sports consultant is still to account for grants which according to procedure, should be directed to teams every four months, but never reached some teams. Both the BPL board and BFA are incensed by the fact that some premier league teams received grants in cash from Mamelodi’s office while some did not.

Motlakase Power Dynamos and Miscellaneous were reportedly borrowed funds from business mogul and Township Rollers financier, Jag Dish Shaah, with Mamelodi acting as a middleman, an undertaking that caused ruckus within the local sport. Further narrowing his path are reports that the league is operating with a suicidal budget where loans are sourced from faceless benefactors. The BPL was reported to be treading in a deficit of millions.

All these attracted the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) to rear its head in Lekidi and confiscate storage materials that were to show the remnants of paper trail for the cash flow at the premier league office. Meanwhile BFA, Public relations officer, Tumo Mpatane has refused to discuss the matter as: “It is still an internal matter of which we will reveal more detail after satisfying the necessary procedures.”

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

30th January 2023

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.

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Clubs petition Zackhem, Jagdish Shah

23rd January 2023

Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.

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P80 million windfall for BFA

9th January 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.

The Forward 3.0 funds – to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.

According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.

“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,” Infantino noted.

The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.

“A contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and referees’ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,” the report indicated.

FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.

Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.

For the specific projects – in the case of Botswana and Namibia – there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.

The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.

When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; “Ours is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.”

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