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BFA Presidency: A familiar war looms

Come August 8th 2020, the fate of Botswana football will be decided. This is the time when 60 delegates gather to usher in a new team that will run the affairs of the domestic game for four uninterrupted years.

Thus far, two familiar teams headed by familiar Presidents will once again fight a familiar war to capture the soul of the football association. Incumbent President Maclean Letshwiti seeks for a fresh mandate while closest challenger, Tebogo Sebego is in pursuit of a new establishment.

The two football administrators faced each other in August of 2016, when Sebego was in the driving seat while Letshwiti was a tough challenger.

At this stage, nothing can be said about the lobby lists and campaign strategies from either side. The two warring groups are playing a waiting game despite the BFA electoral board having prepared the stage for nomination and vetting. However, as Lord Palmerston once observed, in politics, there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies, only permanent interests.”

It explains why one Maokaneng Bontshetse and Senki Sesinyi are expected to become moral voices of Tebogo Sebego- a man they denounced and baptized during the 2016 elections. This is an often murky world of international football politics. The lesson of the past years at BFA have been that running for presidency is a high-risk, expensive pursuit and that, in the end the one with solid power wins.

Sebegos candidacy it seems, is set to be a two-pronged assault on Letshwiti, orchestrated by the godfathers of football.

Certain embattled friends of football members-the football regime of which Sebego has represented and led-are believed to be ensuring that he groups high profile names to solidify his candidacy in running for the post again and again.

It means this years election will therefore likely be a straight fight between members of friends of football and the current President is prepared to face seemingly insurmountable odds, particularly after the regime itself split where one Segolame Ramotlhwa might as well be prepared to mount a serious campaign against his former immediate boss.

However, Letshwiti arguably could win a public vote for the presidency, having obtained countrywide popularity for his exploits in the field, particularly after bringing back the once forgotten FA cup.

Sebegos entry into the race is expected to remove the threat of virtual coronation for the current President, Mac Lean Letshwiti who swept Sebego off the floor four years ago after an earnest and explosive strategy.

All the while reports say Sebego could also find himself forced out of BFA if he loses pending legal cases, but for very different reasons. He lost a power struggle with the association a year before 2016 elections which meant the battle was a bitter fight from the get-go.

The platform afforded by a tilt at the BFA NEC might help his cause or it could backfire if cadres like Ramotlhwa and Senki Sesenyi who seem to back Sebego, campaign against Letshwiti on that front.

Those close to Sebego say although he has lost in 2016 he still has supporters who can endorse his work. They say he views it as a challenge to change the status quo and convince people to support and follow him. Supporters say Sebego believes there is nothing wrong at the association except that people tend to serve their own interests above that of football.


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