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Inside the BVF closet

A carefully tailored Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) curtain hiding the misdeeds and other sins besieging the sport and its leadership was nearly brought into tatters by the affiliates at the Federation’s special general meeting last weekend.

The agenda of the meeting comprised of accepting new members, updating affiliates on the Mascom back love and the impending elective congress. With all these, the latter proved to be a hot potato as it dominated the better half of the proceedings until common ground was found through voting.

The Daniel Molaodi led committee assumed power in 2011 and as per the constitution they were expected to assemble for the elections last year when their four year term elapsed, this never materialized. The expectation for the special meeting was for both parties (committee & clubs) to agree on the way forward.  However, like last year their trademark excuses were replayed, as to why they failed to hold the elective congress.

“Even up to now we are yet to have our audited financial statements, this is because we don’t have funds to pay the auditors but here I have the draft finances,” said the president Molaodi. It was now on the floor to decide whether to flout the constitution by giving the Exco the green light to present the draft finances at the elective congress or wait for the audited statements.

This became a subject of fierce debate at the meeting, with the house divided on the matter. Others who appeared to be itching for changes argued that “for the sake of progression” the rules be bent and they (committee) be allowed to present the draft finances at the elective congress. This was countered by the conservative lot who didn’t want to risk it and wanted the constitution to be fully adhered to.

Hard-pressed, Molaodi had to call for a vote on the motion, and at the end the conservative faction emerged victorious, allowing the current committee to continue with office overstay pending the release of the audited financial statements. The statements are only expected after BNSC disburses the annual grants because it is only then that the auditors can be paid.

The brawl which radiated the voting of the motion is reported to be a sign that indeed behind the thick volleyball curtain there is disappointment on the leadership from the affiliates despite the glittering facade.

To further show their despondencies, affiliates poured scorn over the BVF and Mascom re-union. The sponsorship, which reports indicate was swayed by the Minister of Youth Sports & Culture (MYSC) Thapelo Olopeng has reduced by P500, 000.  Initially, the league was sponsored at the tune P1, 5 million.

The reduction will affect the prize money for the bottom teams while the take home remains unchanged for the top four. Affiliates read desperation on the part of the leadership and wanted answers from the leadership as to why the sponsorship was cut. These however questions could not be answered by the president, “As I said earlier on I won’t reveal all the details of how the negotiations went and the stakeholders who helped us,” he could only say.  

Teams went on to reveal that the kits they were given three seasons ago are in a sorry state and they are expecting new kits from the sponsor. Molaodi told them point blank they will have to purchase their own kits and brand them as per the sponsors’ wish; something which the team argued will be costly for them. “Imagine buying and branding a kit Mascom then the next thing you compete in another tournament but you have already given Mascom the whole of your front space on your t-shirt, is it fair? Even sponsors of those tournaments will not be pleased,” Kutlwano’s Kagiso Meswele said. However it appears the volleyball leadership and Mascom are unmoved in their stand and the sponsors always get what they want.

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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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