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Letshwiti attends CAF EXCO meeting in Kigali, Rwanda

The Confederation of African Football (CAF)Executive Committee will meet in Kigali, Rwanda this weekend on Saturday, 15 May 2021, and Botswana Football Association (BFA) President, Maclean Letshwiti will attend. Letshwiti is expected to fly out to Rwanda today (Thursday), and attend the meeting which will be chaired by CAF President, Dr. Patrice Motsepe, who ascended the seat at the 43rd CAF General Assembly, after being elected unopposed by the Member Associations of CAF in Rabat, Morocco in March. The last Executive Committee meeting was held on 30 March 2021 by video conference.

In his first address as CAF President, Dr. Motsepe spoke about creating a new CAF that will take African football to new heights.

“I’m very excited. There is a great deal of urgency of getting things done. There is a going to be a lot of work and a lot of running. We have to make sure that African football is not just competitive but globally successful. Africa spends millions of dollars every year paying for tv rights of leagues outside Africa. There is a need to build our own products and we will succeed.

“The face of African football will never be the same again. 95% of our conversations will be about football and that is fine but there must be that 5% where we discuss the importance of the private sector partnerships. We need to restore the pride, the dignity and the respect of Africa,” said Dr Motsepe earlier this year.

Letshwiti was elected to the CAF EXCO in March this year, something which he described as, “a huge achievement not only for me but for our country and the entire continent.”

“Serving in the executive committee of CAF is a great honour for me, my country and Africa, and I would like to assure you that I will carry out all my duties diligently as required for the betterment of African football. Having and continuing to serve in various other footballing bodies and being an astute businessman, I’m certain my experiences will come in handy for us all,” said Letshwiti sometime in March.

The Botswana FA President said the CAF Executive Committee meeting agenda is expected to discuss several subjects in particular the preparation of the last rounds of the various continental interclub competitions, the postponement of the start of the World Cup qualifiers to September, Pan-African Schools Football Championships, which was recently announced and is sponsored by President Motsepe.

“I look forward to attending the CAF EXCO meeting where several subjects will be discussed on the agenda. CAF is more about competitions. We will also discuss the chances of Botswana hosting the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations,” said Letshwiti moments before departing for Rwanda.

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National First Divisions undergo Operation Time For Change drill

GABORONE, Botswana – In its relentless quest to professionalize and commercialize local football, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has extended the FIFA approved and funded programme dubbed Administration and Management Course – Operation Time for Change to National First Division Leagues (NFDL), both in the South and North regions. The five-day rigorous training, which kicked off at Tlotlo Hotel and Conference Centre in Gaborone on Monday (yesterday), is aimed at endowing leaders of football clubs to effectually grow football from grassroots level and administer it with indispensable proficiency.

Furthermore, it 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. Officially opening yesterday’s Operation Time for Change for National First Division South, newly appointed Botswana Football League (BFL) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Solomon Ramochotlhwane implored all clubs to adapt to club licensing regulations, as this will become a standard tool for commercialization of clubs and football in Botswana – a barometer also used by CAF. The course has so far been administered in all the 17 Regional Football Association (RFA) regions where over 600 graduates have been inducted.

With the BFA steadfast to commercialize football, they saw it apt to also train NFDL clubs as they act as a feeder to the elite league. In his remarks Ramochotlhwane said, “the program comes at a time when the BFA 2020 Annual General Assembly granted National Leagues being BFL and NFDL autonomy which paves way for professionalism.  As one of the milestones of becoming professional, Operations Time for Change Program comes at a time when clubs have been struggling to meet CAF Club Licensing requirements. This was mostly due to lack of Management Skills and Stakeholder Management by football administrators.

National First Division Chairman, Sydney Magagane

At the end of the program, the participants will be equipped with the Leadership Skills to enable them to perform their duties and influence the change they want to see,” and further added, “Good Governance drives success and produce positive results. Football is a sport that has been severely battered by poor governance. This comes as results of members failing to account in getting the right people to lead the teams. Planning – This is an area that has been neglected for a very long time. The time has now come for teams to have strategies to drive their day-to-day, week-in and week-out preparations on how they drive football and its activities. Communication- the greatest source of Conflict amongst people is failure to communicate, hence Clear Communication clears barriers of misunderstanding.”

Ramochotlhwane said it is therefore imminent to develop a sense of urgency around the need for change. He noted that the time for clubs to change is now hence it is necessary for clubs to do away with societal organizations mentality. “This often takes strong leadership and visible support from key people within your organization. Identify the true leaders in your organization, as well as your key stakeholders,” added Ramochotlhwane. For his part, Chairman of National First Division South, Sydney Magagane encouraged all clubs to take the course seriously as it will speed up the professionalization and commercialization aspect of Botswana football in general.

“The course intends to further train more instructors as our journey to commercialization will need more professionally equipped experts to undertake this task. Clubs are what makes the BFA and therefore starting to commercialize all clubs will bolster swift transition into the mother body,” said Magagane. The course started yesterday, Monday until Friday, June 14 – 18 for the NFDS before moving to Francistown for the NFDN on 21 – 25th June 2021.

Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting

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