Information gleaned from various sources indicate that premier league clubs have begun to receive part of the promised FIFA grants, the global football governing body, to help cushion themselves as the world battles the corona virus pandemic.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) is said to have received close to P7 million from FIFA following its announcement that operational funds will be released earlier to wrestle football from the jaws of death.
Under normal circumstances, FIFA operational funds are released twice a year to help member associations administer themselves. The first installment is done on January while the second procedure is usually completed around July.
Sources therefore, indicate that BFA upon receipt of the grant, begun distributing to all premier league clubs to help fight the effect brought by this pandemic. It is said each club is set to receive P40 000 while assessment is still done for lower division clubs, together with those from the regional stream.
When reached from comment, BFA 1st Vice President Marshlow Motlogelwa confirmed that indeed FIFA has released its operational funds earlier to help in this fight against COVID -19. Motlogelwa however, indicate that FIFA is still to give out specific funds for COVID-19 after every condition is finalized. He says the association is giving the funds to clubs, but is expected to distribute more as soon as FIFA’s relief fund begins to operate.
“It is true that the association has received FIFA grants, but it should be noted that the finances are not from the relief fund. We are given these funds well before expected time because of these corona virus disturbances.” He continued, “We have therefore found it fit to help clubs with the little we have. We are cautious not to deplete the funds because we still do not know how much is coming our way from the FIFA’s relief fund.” He shared.
FIFA is drawing up plans for an emergency relief fund worth hundreds of millions of dollars. 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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.