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FIFA plans emergency fund to support football

Faced with mounting concerns and daily updates about the crisis brought by the coronavirus pandemic on the global soccer industry, FIFA is drawing up plans for an emergency relief fund worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The fund, should global soccer leaders sign off on it, would amount to the biggest response from any major sport’s governing body to the financial impact of the pandemic.

As in other parts of the global economy, movement restrictions to reduce the spread of the disease have halted the cash flow in a business in which long-term financial planning is typically treated as a luxury, with gate receipts and broadcast and sponsorship income largely committed to players’ salaries and transfer market trading.

That has led several federations, clubs and leagues to declare themselves to be in a state of financial distress. Few weeks within lockdown, clubs announced pay cuts as the only solution as many were nearing bankruptcy.

Even the biggest teams have not been immune to the first shutdown of its kind since World War II. Barcelona and Juventus announced pay reductions for their multimillionaire playing roster, and others have followed suit.

“FIFA is in a strong financial situation and it’s our duty to do the utmost to help them in their hour of need,” FIFA said in a statement on Tuesday of this week.

“Therefore, we confirm FIFA is working on possibilities to provide assistance to the football community around the world after making a comprehensive assessment of the financial impact this pandemic will have on football.”

The scale of the crisis was brought into focus in a letter sent to the members of the European Club Association, an umbrella body for more than 200 top division clubs in Europe, by the organization’s chairman, Andrea Agnelli.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) eagerly waits for the FIFA funds. The association however is mindful of internal battles ahead. While FIFA will want associations to pay contracted players, it is said regional teams also want to have a cut from those funds.

But it is well known that many teams in the regional structures do not have contracts with players. But BFA will not risk to omit them because many of the football administrators are to vote in the next coming BFA elective congress.

Sport

FIFA gives Chiefs a lifeline

27th July 2020
Mochudi Centre Chiefs

The world football governing body, FIFA, has given beleaguered Mochudi Centre Chiefs extension of days to peruse and finalise their paper trail in payment of former head coaches, Bongani Mafu and Philane Mabhena.

The once swashbuckling Kgatleng giant was ordered to pay both coaches or face transfer ban. The club was given the 5th of August as deadline to have paid their outstanding dues but after thorough consultations, FIFA agreed to extend to the deadline until mid-September to allow the club to sort itself out.

Magosi was dragged before FIFA sporting laws first by Mafu who claims that he is owed P 450 000. While still scratching their head over Mafu’s issue, Mabhena also dropped another bombshell. He claims that the club is yet to pay him P 121 000 as damages for his contract which was terminated.

FIFA agrees with both coaches that Magosi breached employment contracts without a prima facie contractual basis. Mafu was appointed the club head coach in 2016 but was expelled in 2018, to join Orapa United. Following his departure, Mabhena was roped in to supplant Mafu. However, Mabhena’s stay was short lived. He stayed for one year and left in January of 2019.

Mabhena claims that Chiefs, before his contract was terminated, never paid his signing on fee of P 15 000 as settlement fee. He also argues that he had gone a couple of months without receiving his wages. According to the terms of the contract, he was supposed to be paid P 15000 every month.

Chiefs has also acknowledged the outstanding salary arrears of former coaches that have ballooned to P 56 100. FIFA accuses the club for negligence and refusal to honour contractual obligations and this has brought far reaching consequences.

Should Chiefs fail to honour their promises, they are likely to be banned from signing coaches and players. They are also likely to forfeit points when the football season begins until full payment is completed.

The debts come at a time when the club desperately seeks the return of the Premier League. They were rumoured to be eyeing to buy one Premier League status to compete for grandest prizes like before.

Chiefs were relegated because of poor administration at board level. The team tried many times to professionalize but each attempt was beaten by the club’s society who appeared to stall processes.

Mochudi Centre Chiefs sporting club was first registered in July of 1974. The club was registered as a society under the Societies Act of Botswana as a football team. It is noted that the club participated in the upper league of BFA under the terms prescribed in the constitution of the association together with the confinement of the Societies Act.

Information shows that there had been numerous attempts overtime to transform the club with a view to make it more commercially sustainable and to uplift its football performances. However, such attempts threw the club into some disgruntlements, sabotage and sporadic achievements coupled with factionalism.

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Sport

Sebego, Malesu pin hopes on Appeals Board

27th July 2020

Former Botswana Football Association President Tebogo Sebego and Ookeditse Malesu have both seen their intentions to contest for BFA presidency suffer a major blow after they were vetted out by the Elections Committee chaired by Moemedi Letina.

After being asked to submit affidavits by the Elections Committee, the two were the only candidates who did not pass the integrity check. This leaves the incumbent MacLean Letshwiti unopposed at the elective general assembly to be held on August 8th, at a venue to be announced.

Sebego is said to have failed the test after the committee realised he had some criminal cases and after also having submitted a letter clearing his name from Botswana Law Society at the eleventh hour.

When contacted for comment, Sebego said he has been aware of plans to destabilize his campaigns and he wasn’t surprised to hear he has been vetted out. ‘‘I first saw the rumours that I have been vetted out and I wrote to the elections committee inquiring only to be told it’s not true and later I was told I have been vetted out. I have already met with my team and we will be appealing,” said Sebego.

On the other hand, former Chief Executive Officer, Ookeditse Malesu cried foul that he has been vetted for something that he was not aware of because investigations by DCEC are not public.
Ookeditse Malesu
“I have received their letter stating that I have been vetted out because I didn’t disclose that I am being investigated by DCEC. So does DCEC tell you when conducting their investigations? I don’t know, but I haven’t been aware I am being investigated by them and we will go the legal route and seek justice,” said Malesu.

However, a source from Letshwiti`s camp dismissed claims that their team is behind the vetting of other candidates. “We are aware that the two men pose a serious challenge to de-throne Letshwiti and we have been busy campaigning and remember Letshwiti has his own personal interests but he has declared them so they can’t blame him or claim any foul play from us.

We want to win fairly so let’s wait and see how their appeals will go,” said the source. The Appeals Committee chaired by Professor Othogile is expected to deal with the matter on Wednesday next week.

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Sport

Scouts appoint new chief scout

27th July 2020
Lt. Ezekiel Zack Malenya

Botswana Scouts Board has appointed Lt. Ezekiel Zack Malenya their new Chief Scout, following the demise of Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police  Mr.Samuel Sam Keitireng.

Lt. Ezekiel is a world renowned leader Trainer of Scout having Crawled through the Scout Ranks beginning as a humble Cub Scout to the Chief Scout.  Currently Lt. Malenya is the Executive Chairperson-Scouts in SADC region, Chairperson-Africa Region Resource Mobilisation Committee and Ambassador-World Scout Foundation.

Some of his roles include, briefing the patron(H.E the president) on development in the movement both locally and internationally, Forge partnerships with stakeholders, sign warrants for commissioners etc

Lt. Ezekiel has been instrumental in Training and Development of young people in Schools and local Communities in Botswana through Programs like Discipline Boot Camps & Study Boot Camps (Bana ba Metsi School & Matsha college respectively),RAYS- Reaching Adolescent &Youth through Scouting, STEM-Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics not forgetting distribution of Solar Study lights computers and books around the country.

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