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All Is Well in the Zebras Camp

GABORONE, Botswana, February 18, 2021/ — The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has vehemently denied damning social media reports claiming harassment of national team players currently on camp, racism and maladministration.

In light of the recent allegations, the BFA CEO, Thabiso Kebotsamang has categorically dispelled the circulating media reports as fabrications.

Kebotsamang has assured all football stakeholders that everything is in order within the national team camp, with players and coach amicably working together as they prepare to lift the country’s flag high by yearning for six-points at the upcoming 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers between Zimbabwe and Algeria next month (March).

Kebotsamang confirmed that from the initial 30-man provisional squad which was called to camp by head coach, Adel Amrouche, only three players have thus far left camp due to various reasons known to the BFA. The three are Lesenya Ramoraka of Orapa United, Tshepo Maikano and Mishani Thupa from Gaborone United. Kebotsamang explained that Ramoraka and Thupa left due to injuries.

“He came to be assessed by our national team doctor as the coach can pick a player with an injury and assess through latter for a second opinion on their injuries, while Maikano left on personal matters. All I know is that he has assured the technical team he will certainly be happy for the next call up.

Furthermore, to solidify and strengthen the national team, a new team manager, Harry Koata has been appointed. Koata is the Botswana Football League’s club, Masitaoka FC general manager. His role is to primarily act as liaison between the technical team and the secretariat.

Kebotsamang further assured the football fraternity all is well within the Zebras camp courtesy of a solid and well-versed technical team.

On issues of racism, the CEO dismissed everything as untruthful adding that the BFA has no room for such to prevail.

“The nation would care to note that the Zebras’ technical team is led by coach Adel Amrouche, assisted by Letang Kgangwenyane of BDF XI (local), and goalkeeper coach Kagiso Tshelametsi of Sua Flamingos (local) whilst the physical trainer is Christophe Baudez. The BFA acting technical director Dr. Carolin Bruan continues to assist the technical team whenever she’s free. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, some of Dr. Braun’s projects supported by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) which she heads in her 2-year stay in Botswana have been put on hold as there are travel restrictions around the country including government’s decision to halt meetings or engagements of 50 people or more,” added Kebotsamang.

Regarding allegations that the national team coach prefers to work with expatriates as opposed to locals, Kebotsamang affirmed that as per international practice coaches always choose to bring their own support staff ranging from assistant coach, video analyst and physical trainer, and in Adel case he brought in only Baudez while the rest of the technical team is made up of Batswana.

Meanwhile, assistant coach, Kgwengwenyane’s no show in the current camp is because he had asked to be excused due to current commitments with his employer, the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and that he will be available in the next camp.

In preparing the team, the BFA says its working around the clock to secure international friendlies but due to Covid-19, nations are reluctant to travel or play host.

“Our technical team has also advised against playing local teams as their lack of action may result in the squad sustaining injuries. The talks with Rwanda FA also fell off due to the prevailing pandemic.”

The first camp is expected to end on Saturday, February 20th.

“Due to no action of the league, we intended on having longer camps purposely for the coach to fully assess his squad. The next camp is expected to resume on March 1st until the next fixtures with Zimbabwe and Algeria. Internationally-based players are expected to join the next camp as preparations for The Zebras’ yearn for glory intensify,” concluded Kebotsamang.

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CAF Presidential Hopeful, Dr. Motsepe Sets Out His Road Map

GABORONE, Botswana, February 25, 2021/ — In exactly 15 days, 54 member associations (MA) of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) comprising Botswana Football Association (BFA) are expected to decide on the future of African football at an elective congress slated for March 12th in Rabat, Morocco.

Already 14 member associations including the BFA have endorsed South African businessman and Mamelodi Sundowns President Dr. Patrice Motsepe as their preferred CAF presidential candidate at the just ended Confederation of Southern Africa Football (COSAFA) General Assembly this past weekend in Johannesburg, South Africa

Today (Thursday, 25 February 2021), Dr. Motsepe announced his roadmap during a 2-hour LIVE media conference in Sandton, Johannesburg (RSA.

Speaking publicly for the first time about his desire to lead African football, Motsepe revealed his 10-points Action Plan should he ascend the CAF presidency next month.

Accompanied by COSAFA President, Philip Chiwanga, South African Football Association (SAFA) President Danny Jordaan, RSA Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa and Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairperson, Irvin Khoza in the top table, Motsepe expressed delight at the confidence bestowed on him by these distinguished football titans.

Top on Motsepe’s administration drill will be investing in developing and growing football in each African country and building partnerships and sponsorships with the private sector and other potential partners.

“At the heart of building African football to be the best in the world is investing in the development, growth, global competitiveness and sustainability of football in each African country,” he said adding that, “We will visit each country within 9 to 12 months and we will initiate discussions with the Member Associations’ Presidents and leadership to identify and implement priority development and growth projects and to ensure that football is popular with a growing supporter and TV base in each country and on the African continent and over time around the world.”

Motsepe said there is immediate need to improve the efficiency and professionalism of CAF’s Competitions and its staff.

“We will contribute to improving the efficiency, administration and organization of CAF’s competitions as well as the professionalism and productivity of its staff. We will also put in place medical best practices particularly in the context of Covid-19.”

Furthermore, Motsepe added, “It is also important to significantly increase the prize money of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations and of the top Pan African club competitions. This will contribute to the improvement in the quality of African football, its youth and women’s football academies and infrastructure and increase the African and global fan and TV interest.”

The South African business tycoon also said implementing and adhering to governance and auditing global best practices will guide his presidency.

“We will focus on contributing to building a respected, credible and ethical football governing association in every country in Africa and also focus on contributing to building an equally respected, credible and ethical African continental football governing body – CAF that is transparent and accountable and that implements and adheres to auditing and governance global best practices.”

In his delivery, Motsepe expressed worry at the infrastructure that some CAF members use thus investing in African football infrastructure will be key in his administration.

“We are committed to ensuring that at least one quality national stadium in every country is built, where none currently exists, in accordance with FIFA’s international quality standards and also building at least 200 football pitches.”

Motsepe further assured the media that investing in the youth is the future of African football.

“Building youth football development facilities and infrastructure for boys and girls and promoting school football in as many schools as possible, is important for the growth and long-term success of African football.”

Furthermore, Motsepe said developing and growing women’s football will also be a priority, he outlined that despite the financial, logistical, infrastructure and other challenges, African women’s football shows much promise.

“As was demonstrated during the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France when their technical level and goal scoring abilities indicated that they could hold their own against the best women’s teams in the world. There will be extensive consultation and discussions with women’s football participants and stakeholders and a thorough assessment of the prevailing conditions and proposed reforms for African women’s football will be undertaken.”
Motsepe said Protecting the integrity and professionalising refereeing is also key.

“Refereeing is the cornerstone of football worldwide. The integrity, independence and professionalism of referees is crucial for the credibility and success of football in Africa. The elite refereeing programme jointly developed by CAF and FIFA in 2020 will be rolled out within 6 months. This programme will raise refereeing standards and enable regular and complete assessments of the standard of refereeing in Africa,” said Dr. Motsepe.

Motsepe further noted that during his tenure, VAR will be implemented at all CAF senior competitions.

“Each Member Association participating in international and inter-regional competitions should also invest in a light VAR system. Appropriate training and skills for the video assistant referees will be provided.”

Regarding statutory reforms, he said the administration will initiate discussions and consultations within 3 to 6 months to assess and identify the statutory reforms and changes that are essential to improving and strengthening the administrative, managerial, and operational efficiency of CAF, its Member Associations, and the Regional/Zonal Associations and to implement transparency, accountability, and adherence to auditing and governance global best practices.

In conclusion, Motsepe said partnerships with FIFA and other Continental governing bodies will form part of the strategy for mutual growth of football.
“We are committed to building a mutually respectful and beneficial relationship and partnership with FIFA and with all the other Continental Football governing bodies in the world. These relationships and partnerships will be based on advancing the best interests of Africa, CAF and its Member Associations.”

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