After a series of consultation meetings with relevant stakeholders, Botswana Football Association’s (BFA) National Executive Committee (NEC) is now seriously considering South African millionaire and mining tycoon, Tokyo Sexwale for the FIFA Presidency.
Although initially there were doubts as to whether the BFA will throw their weight behind Sexwale, leading to divisions within Lekidi, the President Tebogo Sebego has confirmed that they are interested in supporting the former South African Minister of Human Settlements.
“We have shown interest in the South African candidate looking at his background as he has managed bigger institutions, and besides he has been with FIFA committees like the Anti-racism and discrimination and we believe he can stir it to transformation,” Sebego stated.
In the past Sebego was quoted saying the world football governing body should be helmed by a visionary leader who can take it forward.
“It should be about someone who can take FIFA forward. FIFA needs fresh ideas and it would be interesting to see who makes the cut,” he had stated.
The world governing body has been riddled with maladministration leading to the eight year ban of ex-President Sepp Blatter and his lieutenants, by then in the BFA caucus, NEC members had made it clear that they wanted someone to manoeuvre FIFA to calm waters. Among the stakeholders that were consulted, though not clear, it appears the President Dr Lt Gen Ian Khama had also given BFA his blessings after criticising the Sebego led association for endorsing the embattled Blatter in the past elective congress.
Sebego has highlighted that the former political prisoner has made his presentation to COSAFA for their votes and that is where they considered him, although not going much on what he promised them should he ascend to the world’s top post. While the BFA ‘’endorse’’ Sexwale, they concede that he hasn’t met them personally to ask for their vote.
“He hasn’t come to us as an association to share his modus operandi should he win, but there have been attempts for that arrangement”, Sebego told WeekendSport.
Sexwale has also been seen as casual on his approach to win the much awaited elections on the 26th as he has not visited most of the countries especially in Africa to lobby for votes.
Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) recently announced that they won’t be backing Sexwale, something which could hobble his ambitions. With the CAF having lobbied its members to vote the Asian football confederation President, Sheik Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the big question remains, is the BFA snubbing their mother body?
“This is a secret ballot and CAF members are the ones who cast votes not CAF so we will do what we deem right,” the former BFA legal advisor Sebego answered.
With Sexwale being the only African sandwiched by two Asians and two Europeans vying for the football top post, the expectation was that CAF would endorse him as it is the largest voting blog with 54 countries.
The local football association is however still open for other candidates to come and share their manifesto which is highly unlikely as various candidates have been campaigning during the recent Chan competition in Rwanda. The other three candidates are Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan, ex FIFA official Jerome Champagne and the UEFA Secretary General Gianni Infantinno who enjoys backing from Europe, and his campaign strategy of hosting the World Cup regionally could make him darling to many.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
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.