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Letshwiti calls for Unity

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) President, Maclean Letshwiti has called on all football stakeholders to work together in harmony for the betterment of the game. Officially opening the Kgatleng Regional Football Association’s (FA) ‘Operation Time for Change’ training this morning (Tuesday) at Rasesa Lodge in Rasesa, Letshwiti called for an intensified stakeholder management including an adherence to club licensing guidelines, which will ultimately guide the new and professional look of local football.

The 5-day FIFA approved, and funded programme dubbed Administration and Management Course for the KgatlengRegional FA kicked off on Monday (yesterday) until Friday and is intended to achieve a renewal in terms of how football is managed at all levels throughout the country, facilitated by FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting.

The objectives of the programme include the empowerment of leaders, both Regional Structures and Clubs, on the management of the game; engaging participants on the importance of Stakeholder management, as well as identifying for further training prospective national course instructors in Administration and Management, with a view that once qualified, they will continue to train up and coming Administrators in the Regions on football administration.

The BFA President pleaded with the Kgatleng Regional FA to collectively work together with other stakeholders, and only then will we see the much-needed change in our football. Letshwiti said as the BFA they saw the need to engage with all regions through the ‘Operation Time For Change’ to better equip everyone with new and modern models of football, which include increasing and managing fanbase, finance, governance, all of which are extremely critical in running a professional club.

“We have to manage our stakeholders and keep them closer; this will give us an opportunity to have a better understanding of how we can all work harmoniously together.

This will in turn help us to accelerate club licensing, in line with the commitment by FIFA to commercialize football. As the BFA, we will provide guidelines on the minimum standards for all football structures and clubs. This will guide our structures on electing suitable individuals into various positions, and only then will our football grow,” said Letshwiti.

BFA President Maclean Letshwiti

The BFA President also assured the gathered football delegates that football will return soon, adding that they remain hopeful all efforts to bring back the people’s game will be fully supported government.

For his part, the Katleng Regional Football Association (KRFA) chairperson, Thabang Seleke said today’s training is an opportunity for his region to develop relations with all its stakeholders and equip them with the relevant knowledge regarding the latest skills in running and managing their clubs and football.

Furthermore, Seleke acknowledged the Kgatleng Regional FA for its relentless commitment to the development of football in the region, as evidenced by their passion for the sport.

“We have a cordial relationship with the council where they continue to help us with various infrastructures such as roads and playing grounds. Infrastructure plays a critical role in the advancement of football, be it grassroots or professional. Quite pleasing is that we also have a new office which is a good start in the right direction,” said Seleke adding that the only appeal is for the BFA assist them with office equipment.

“This will go a long way in helping us to keep our records safe, which is a critical part of good governance,” said Seleke.

FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting said the participants will learn all the basics of football such as having a firm understanding of the ecosystem of football from FIFA, CAF and COSAFA respectively.

“We have to understand football in today’s modern world. We will further go into governance, finance, including management of clubs. Overtime I have emphasized that we must constantly empower our leadership. The common problem across regions has always been who owns the clubs between the registered members and founding member, who in my capacity act as is if they are the shareholders. Regions must understand that they are football, and that this is where we need to change, hence this project, ‘Operation Time for Change’. Another great concern is that of compliance. We need to go back to our communities to start our links in football. Stakeholder management is part of our program and very vital, we need all the leaders such as bogosi, council, schools, and other leaders of our society and that is only when we will see an improvement in our football,” narrated Mamelodi.

Kgatleng District Council Chairperson Daniel Molokwe (LEFT) with BFA President Letshwiti

The Kgatleng District Council chairperson Daniel Molokwe said as the council they are committed to facilitating all investments in their district to increase the economic value of football.

“Companies that are in our region must show committed corporate social responsibility (CSR) to football as it is very important in the food chain of any business and society. Furthermore, we must understand that companies that support football want a return on investment (ROI) too, so branding is vital, so they also see value in their investment. We want to see football developing as this will help us produce quality players that can compete with their counterparts anywhere. A case in point, as the region we can be credited for the flair and advertisement of football through our club Mochudi Centre Chiefs over the years, I therefore challenge the investors to also engage our teams to reach their business goals. We commit to support the BFA through President Letshwiti, so we develop community stadias because that is where we nurture and groom all talent,” said Molokwe.

From Kgatleng, the Operation Time for Change programme will call it a wrap in Palapye from 10th – 14th May 2021 with the Central/North Regional FA (Serowe).

  • BFA President Maclean Letshwiti

  • Kgatleng District Council Chairperson Daniel Molokwe

Development

Draw for historic 20th edition of the COSAFA Cup set for Thursday 17th June

The draw for the 2021 COSAFA Cup will be staged in host city Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday, June 17 as preparations for the historic 20th edition of the regional showpiece competition kick into gear. The 12-team tournament will take place from July 7-18 and returns after the 2020 edition had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The draw will be live on www.cosafa.tv from 11h00, when the fate of the competing teams will be decided.

And there will be plenty of excitement with the addition of west African powerhouse Senegal to the field this year as they make a guest appearance in what is a landmark tournament for COSAFA. The COSAFA Cup has, over the years, launched the careers of a number of top stars from the region and continues to be a major driver of football development on and off the pitch for not just players, but also coaches, match officials and administrators.

The competition will take on a new format for 2021 with the 12 teams split into three groups each containing four teams. This ensures each side will play a minimum of three matches. The top team in each pool, as well as the best second-placed finisher, will advance to the semifinals. There will be no Plate competition.

Zebras will know their opponents on Thursday ahead of the virtual draw

Senegal is the top-ranked side in Africa and sit at number 22 in the world and will make their debut in COSAFA competition. Guest nations from outside the region have, over the years, provided excellent entertainment and a contrast in styles that makes for fascinating viewing. The other 10 sides confirmed so far are no strangers to the COSAFA Cup and include hosts South Africa, defending champions Zambia and record six-time winners Zimbabwe.

Others to have booked their place are Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique and Namibia. The 12th team will be confirmed in the coming days with a number of interested parties. Those who are competing in the group stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that start in September will be eager to use the tournament to fine-tune their preparations for a shot at making the finals in Qatar.

The 19 previous editions of the competition have seen some great performances and incredible games that have been written into the folklore of Southern African football, but only five nations can claim to have lifted the coveted trophy. Zimbabwe (six wins) lead the way, followed by Zambia (five), South Africa (four), Angola (three) and Namibia (one).

Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana have all twice been finalists, but ended up on the losing side on both occasions. Lesotho (2000) are the only other team to reach the decider.   

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