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BFA faces BNSC ultimatum


Sporting gloves are said to be coming off in the battle between the Botswana Football Association and their overseer, Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) over unaccounted funds by the association as the senior national team embarked on international trips.


So tense and dangerous is the mood between the two bodies that BNSC is said to be lining to slap the association with an ultimatum to either account or risk being sanctioned. At worst, sources familiar with this developments state that the sports council is operating under mounting pressure from the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture and that they are determined to suspend or bring perpetrators to book.


On October 30, WeekendSport had established that BNSC called the association to clarify allegations that some administrators had dipped their fingers into the till on two separate Zebras’ trips.  


It is reported that the council is irked by the manner in which the association is allegedly mishandling Government funds. Insiders mention that a recent meeting between the two parties was so heated that one of the alleged culprits Tariq Babitseng had to storm out midway through the proceedings, leaving BFA president Tebogo Sebego alone to face BNSC interrogators.


 Additional NEC member Basadi Akoonyatse, who was expected to attend the grilling session, did not pitch up.


As the BNSC pressed and probed BFA, reports say it emerged that another report piled more misery on the Sebego-led association. Sources say the sports ministry had discovered that funds for the Angola trip were not adequately accounted for and once again implicated Babitseng.


 It emerges that the former BFA acting CEO was not alone as BFA technical director, Benny Kgomela, was also implicated.


The association is at pains to furnish ‘honest answers’ which is why the sports body is believed to be unwilling to release funds for the Botswana-Tunisia AFCON encounter scheduled for the weekend of 14-15 November.


A careful look at the relationship among BFA employees brings out a picture of men and women baying for each other’s blood. It is reported that the national team coach Peter Butler exposed the alleged abuse of funds during the trip to Angola and set the fire burning inside Kgomela’s house allegedly because the two men are not on good terms.


 Sources claim that Butler was upset with him as he (Kgomela) was on many occasions implicated in assistant coach Pio Paul’s appointment issues.


The technical director was accused of being a stumbling block in Pio Paul’s appointment as the national Under- 23 coach, for which he had Butler’s blessings.


Kgomela, however, has dismissed reports linking him with ‘missing funds’ for the Angola trip. But this publication has learnt that BFA CEO, before proceeding on leave, had drafted a letter to suspend Kgomela for “physically  involving himself in Pio Paul’s’ case and more disturbingly for “meddling with the Angola funds”.


The BNSC is reported to be close to suspending Babitseng whom Guinea Bissau trip painfully pins him against the wall. But as to how he intercepted money from the Angola trip is not yet known because reports say he did not travel with the team.  


Efforts to get clarity from both the association and sports council hit the brick wall. Acting CEO of sports council said the matter was still internal and could not be discussed with any third parties while BFA did respond to this publication’s enquiry.


The BNSC is reported to be putting its foot down because it is equally under pressure from Government, which wants to see every thebe spent properly accounted for.
 

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