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BFA President pays courtesy visit to Rakgare

A delegation from the Botswana Football Association (BFA), led by Maclean Letshwiti, President of the BFA yesterday (Wednesday) paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports, and Culture Development (MYSC), Honourable Tumiso Rakgare in Gaborone, Botswana.

The purpose of the BFA visit was to introduce the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone G. Taylor as well as present the new national team UMBRO replica jersey to the parent ministry.  

President Letshwiti also used the opportunity to discuss numerous issues of football, amongst them the burning desire to return to play, the possibilities around hosting international major tournaments as well as seeking government’s buy in regarding all matters of football.

Letshwiti was accompanied by the BFA Vice President 1, Marshlow Motlogelwa, BFA CEO, Goabaone G. Taylor, P.S.P to BFA President, Spencer Mmui whilst MYSC representatives included Honourable Rakgare, his deputy, Honourable Buti Billy, Permanent Secretary, Kago Ramokate and Director – Policy Specialist for Sports and Recreation, Imon Bogosi.

In his address, Letshwiti officially introduced the new Botswana FA female CEO before recapitulating to the minister various outcomes which were discussed at the weekend’s Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee meeting held in Kiagali, Rwanda, most of which bordered on garnering government support on footballing matters.  

BFA President Letshwiti in discussions with Minister Rakgare

Letshwiti highlighted the urgent need to speed up the return to play as the football fraternity and its entire value chain continue to suffer due to non-footballing action.

The BFA president stressed that it is high time the professional leagues and others return to play, arguing that Botswana is the only country where football is not being played, forcing its workforces into a state of destitution.

“We are one of the few countries that haven’t returned to play and the football leadership is not happy, this is the feedback I gave you minister because it has been proven elsewhere that football can be played in a controlled manner, bio-bubbles and the like. Football is the biggest employer in the sporting fraternity, and we have stressed in our return to play guidelines of the value chain that comes because of football being played. We seek your outmost support in gaining buy in from cabinet and the powers that be, as you continue to do so in support of football,” said Letshwiti.

On other issues, Letshwiti said the BFA seeks the cooperation of government to be able to undertake some of the grassroots development programmes which are on the pipeline courtesy of CAF and FIFA.

“CAF and the football governing body encourage partnerships with governments and gone are those days when government demanded accountability; it was deemed as interference. It is against this backdrop that we therefore ask our government to form formidable partnerships with the BFA as FIFA has introduced football for schools, because our products which are the players and students are in schools managed by the government. We relay this message to the government through you minister Rakgare because FIFA is ready to help with training of coaches including improvement of infrastructure. Botswana is therefore expected to produce an Under-15 team to participate. We cannot at this juncture be seen to shun all these opportunities,” said Letshwiti.

Quite pleasing, the BFA President said was the FIFA and CAF expected efforts of embarking on a project that will see every country in Africa getting at least one state-of-the-art and fully funded football stadium, with the member association only expected to provide land for the development, and as such beseeched the minister through his government to allocate land to the BFA. 

Letshwiti also openly asked the government to bid for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2027 finals, as priority is given to countries that have not hosted before. However, Letshwiti said Botswana has raised its hand to host the COSAFA Women’s Championships. 

“If we host this championship in August, it will give us the much-needed litmus test on how we will fare when bidding for the AFCON finals. We need to have activities in football as this will also attract football leadership such as CAF and FIFA presidency respectively to check on us including our projects,” concluded Letshwiti.

In his response, Honourable Rakgare said his ministry is also working around the clock to gain buy in from the powers that be about the importance of returning to play within the shortest possible time.

Rakgare further encouraged the BFA to work closely with the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) as custodians for all matters that may arise around the hosting of major tournaments including government’s assistance.

Rakgare assured the BFA that it is in the best interest of his government to host such major tournaments thanks to the obvious return on investment (ROI), especially sports tourism.

Minister Rakgare presented with the new Zebras replica jersey by the FA President Letshwiti

 

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BFA GRANTS AMROUCHE LEAVE OF ABSENCE

GABORONE, Botswana – Following the request by Senior National Team Coach, Adel Amrouche for leave of absence to attend to a personal matter, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) wishes to inform the public that he has been granted the leave with immediate effect.

Since the COSAFA tournament is the last competitive tournament for the Zebras in the immediate future, the BFA amicably resolved to release Amrouche. The affairs of the National team in preparation for the tournament, set to take place in Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa from 7-18 July 2021 shall be handed over to Letang Kgengwenyane.

“The BFA understands and supports Mr. Amrouche’s situation and wishes him all the best in his future endeavours,” said BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone G. Taylor.

Amrouche took over as the Zebras head coach in August 2019 on a two-year deal. After weeks of engaging with the coach over his future, an agreement was reached not to extend his contract.

Adel Amrouche

“Amrouche has been Zebras head coach since August 2019, and his leadership during that time was important to our successful development and international exposure of our players,” added Taylor.

“We appreciate all that Amrouche has done to build a disciplined team. He has always had a thorough understanding of what it takes to be a successful team and has done his best to mentor his players accordingly,” concluded Taylor.

Amrouche has since expressed gratitude towards the BFA for the opportunity.
“I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity to lead the Zebras over the last two years. I leave having picked up quite a number of valuable lessons that will be necessary in the journey ahead. I wish the Zebras success in future competitions,” Amrouche said in statement recently.

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