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Why BNSC entered BFA saga

Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng

Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) has frowned upon governance loose ends at the Botswana Football Association (BFA), and instantly took a decision to postpone the Premier League play-off game between Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

By the Commission‘s admission, the game was cancelled in the interest of the senior national team, which was on camp for preparations of the COSAFA tournament. In the wake of this development, Weekend Sport discovered that the Botswana Premier League Board held a meeting over the past weekend at Mahalapye and passed a resolution that BNSC be called to normalize the crisis.

However, on Monday of this week, the Association was intent that the game be played and players will be released for camp after the match. Unbeknownst to them, the Commission was preparing to cancel the game. Sources at BNSC say a directive came on Tuesday evening to stop the ill tempered affair.

‘‘The Botswana National Sports Commission writes to confirm that we have issued an instruction to Botswana Football Association to postpone the game between Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers in the interest of the National Team which will be competing in Namibia for COSAFA tournament,’’ reads the release from the BNSC secretariat.

Whilst many football pundits feel that the Sports Commission has interfered on the daily running of a mere sports code, highly guarded information trickling down is that BNSC found themselves between a hard place and a rock. ‘‘The issue of a patron was seriously considered and one had to stamp authority,’’ information suggests. Weekend Sports has learnt that the patron of Botswana football is the first citizen of the country.

This development feeds more onto the belief that the Association has lost trust from high authorities. The book markers paint BFA President Tebogo Sebego in particular, with a dark brush for having failed to rebuild the local football mother body. Under his leadership, Sebego found the relationship between his code and that of the Commission fractured.

The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng once dressed down the Association’s NEC when its accounting books were not up to scratch.  As if that was not enough, the first citizen grilled the code for rallying behind ‘corrupt’ Sepp Blatter, former President of the world football governing body, FIFA. At the time FIFA was strongly opposing constituency tournaments, a sporting government initiative.

However, the latest move by the Sports Commission to take such a decision has turned a few heads in some quarters. There is a strong view that Sebego’s candidacy is no longer appealing even at the highest offices. Whether this has an immediate bearing on the coming July election is now open to debate.

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