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Candidates unhappy with delay

The anticipation is enormous as the deadline to publish candidates who will stand for Botswana Football Association (BFA) posts has long passed.

The elections committee is without answers after failing to circulate names before the June 30th deadline. Rather, the committee went on to ask for additional information from candidates, something that they did not request during applications.

Candidates have accused the elections committee of playing delaying tactics with hidden political agendas. The elections committee has this week through their Vice Chairperson, Ntlogelang Modise requested candidates to bring forth affidavits confirming that they are active in football activities.

The affidavits should be accompanied by a letter of appointment or minutes and also a sworn statement from the structure being represented by the candidate. This has irked some candidates as they claim that the association is outdoing itself by trying to meet the set FIFA requirements of integrity checks.

When reached for comment, Tebogo Sebego who is contesting for BFA Presidency said it would have been better had they been informed well in time to submit everything to avoid last minute scramble.

It is easier for BFA Ex-co and some big clubs who keep records like Notwane to submit such documents but for those from smaller teams it is going to be difficult to provide the needed information. The best thing is to always advice people about requirements way before elections not some knee jerk stuff, said Sebego.

Another presidential candidate, Ookeditse Malesu, also cried foul. Malesu complained that the delay may hamper their plans as they cannot actively campaign until vetting is completed.
It is a draw back as we were not told to submit those documents and now there is no clear deadline on the submission. I mean even members of parliament do not go through such vetting. This only favours the current regime as they can go around campaigning, but anyway we hope the process will be completed on time, said Malesu.

For her part, Itsholeng Disang-who will be contesting for the first time for the BFA womens representative- questioned the motive behind the need to provide such documents when some have been serving football for a long period and BFA has their information and records.

I mean honestly, do I have to submit that thing when I have been active in the structures, but again, why didnt they ask for them in the first place so we could have prepared them? Disang rhetorically asked.BFA elections committee Chairperson, Moemedi Letina denied any ulterior-motive behind the need to provide affidavits.

Protocol has to be followed, as the elections committee we just requested candidates to indeed prove that they are active as they claim and remember that these are new standards. We are not yet sure when the exercise will be completed, but before AGM date, everything will be done with, explained Letina.

All the while, BFA Chief Executive Officer, Mfolo Mfolo rubbished reports that the AGM is being moved to Maun. He confirmed that preparations are on-going as they continue to engage the Ministry of Health to adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

30th January 2023

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.

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Clubs petition Zackhem, Jagdish Shah

23rd January 2023

Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.

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P80 million windfall for BFA

9th January 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.

The Forward 3.0 funds – to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.

According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.

“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,” Infantino noted.

The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.

“A contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and referees’ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,” the report indicated.

FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.

Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.

For the specific projects – in the case of Botswana and Namibia – there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.

The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.

When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; “Ours is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.”

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