Sebego lobby list revealed
As the tussle for football power ensues, a tactful Tebogo Sebego is choosing to keep his enemies closer.
Sebego’s lobby list which was seen by WeekendSport reveals that he cares less about experience preferring instead loyalty. The incumbent president of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) is leaving no stone unturned in his campaign.
Former BFA legal advisor has fielded Tariq Babitseng to contest as his first vice president. The man who ruffled a few feathers two years ago as the acting Chief Executive Officer of the Association is seeking country wide appeal and a fresh mandate to restore the decaying mother body.
When Sebego wrestled football power out of David Fani’s ailing team, Babitseng was a lurid campaign manager who had appealing football language. The football regions would bestow their trust on him as he escorted Sebego to the BFA throne. Later, the president rewarded him with a plum position as CEO, although on a temporary basis.
However, during his time at the Lekidi Football Centre, first as an acting CEO and second as vice-president, Babitseng abused office and the funds at his disposal, crippling the Centre’s administrative wing leaving it near comatose. Sebego at a later point had to drop him, albeit not out of choice, but Babitseng had become a liability.
For second vice President, Sebego wants Basadi Akoonyatse. Known for her timidity, Akoonyatse first won her place within the friends of football family as an additional member.
She was later elevated to fill Babitseng’s position in the administrative arm of the Association. Her admirers label her as woman of passion, but her involvement in a business dominated by men has helped her to develop a thick skin.
Hers however hasn’t always been a smooth ride as well. She and the incumbent president have had a fall out, as they had different opinions about how the game should be run.
It was reported that when Akoonyatse became Babitseng’s successor, Sebego did not endorse her, opting for another lady, Suzie Montsho who held the fort of the office on interim basis.
But when the mood inside Sebego’s stubborn NEC began to shift, Akoonyatse instantly became the only ‘trusted friend’ and the peace pipe was smoked.
It surprised a few when Akoonyatse headed the restructuring team in an effort to close history books.
But Suzie Montsho is also in the fold too, this time around though she is battling to hold a more commanding role to represent women football. Montsho has no real football experience, her start with BFA was merely on part-time basis, but her involvement over time it appears has been turned into a passion, she has since been on a crusade prove her mantle in football administration.
On the list is also Olsen Manthe, a known former file and rank member of past BFA leadership. He once held the post under Fani’s command as an additional member, but was ousted by Sebego’s group in 2012 on one-affair elections. Observers see the move by Sebego as an effort to mend broken affairs. Transport mogul, Monnaakgotla, of AT & T Transport is also included in Sebego’s lobby list.
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It’s do or die for Zebras
The senior national team, the Zebras, is currently in Equatorial Guinea to for an African Cup of Nations Qualifiers tie. Before they departed, the team’s coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, had his troops train in Morocco. This was through the agreement between the two countries.
The agreement between the BFA and the Fédération Moroccan Football Association states that the two nations will work together to organize friendly matches between their respective national teams. It also allows the establishment of football camps for the youth categories (U-15, U-17, and U-20), this includes women’s national teams.
The national team has played over 180 minutes in its two qualifying matches against Tunisia and Libya. Currently, the Zebras, Lesotho and Liberia are the only teams that haven’t scored yet in the competition (this is correct by press time on Friday).
Before the match against Equatorial Guinea match, the local boys who were once known as the whipping boys of Africa in the early 2000s, were languishing at the bottom of the log standings in group J. They lost their first match away to Libya on June 1, 2022. However, they managed to salvage a point against Tunisia last year.
Before the team left for Equatorial Guinea, coach Mpote urged his players to focus on keeping their hopes of making a return trip to the AFCON finals alive after an 11 year absence since the maiden appearance in 2012. He noted that they would not allow their opponents to score and would ensure that they would get a draw.
Despite the various changes that have occurred in the two countries’ football landscape, the two teams have only met once before. In 2010, the local boys defeated the Equatorial Guinea team in a friendly match, which ended in an emphatic win for the visitors. Since then, the two sides have realised different fortunes in FIFA rankings, with Equatorial Guinea ranked 51 places above the Zebras.
Meanwhile, in their last six games, Guinea has only managed to win one of them. They drew with Rwanda and Togo in September 2022 friendlies. They have found the back of the net just twice in their six games. On the other hand, the Zebras, won one match against Zambia and lost four on their way to finishing at the bottom of the group with four points. At the conclusion of their previous AFCON campaign, the local boys traveled to Zambia and secured a draw.
Despite the recent results of the Guinean team, which have only managed to draw with Rwanda and Togo in their last six matches, coach Mpote is still confident that his team will perform well against the hosts.
According to the head coach, the local boys have the necessary skills and resources to perform well against any country. He noted that the team’s coaches have been studying abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects of football.
“Tactically they should also be ready. We need your (Botswana fans) usual support, when we come back from Equatorial Guinea, we will go to Francistown, and we will need you. You are our 12th player, and you are very important to us.”
OBED ITANI CHILUME STADIUM CERTIFIED
This week, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Tuelo Serufho revealed that the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium will host the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the local boys and Equatorial Guinea. The venue had initially failed an inspection test conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). However, following the completion of the necessary works, the stadium was allowed to host the match.
According to BNSC Chief, Tuelo Serufho, the various requirements that the stadium must meet included having a designated parking area for the media and spectators, as well as having signage that will guide the spectators. He also noted that the venue now has a world-class media area.
Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society
Township Rollers, one of the country’s most decorated football clubs with 15 premier league titles, is finding itself in a precarious situation as its long-term chief financier, Jagdish Shah, threatens to dump them if the society does not bow down to his demand of forfeiting their 20 percent interest in the company.
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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon
Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.
He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.
The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.