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FUB allegations on abuse of national team players and welfare matters

GABORONE, Botswana, June 03, 2021/ — The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has noted with concern the allegations in the Botswana Football Union (FUB) letter dated 28th May 2021. The BFA is disappointed to note that the Union has elected to engage the media on these allegations before presenting the findings of its commission of enquiry to the FA ahead of launching the 12-day campaign.

Had this been done, the BFA would have availed a platform to meet and hear  the submission and ultimately carry out preliminary investigations on the claims that the Union has purportedly investigated.

It is the expectation of the FA that any ‘’unusual treatment’’ suffered by the players because of an employee of the FA be brought before the Association by those seeking redress on the matter. However, the Office of the CEO has no record of such.Considering how serious these allegations are, the FA’s preliminary inquiries find no merit in the allegations made and render the assertions as unfounded and untruthful.

From what the FA has gathered so far, the Senior Men National Team head coach has engaged with players in a professional manner.The Coaches Code of Ethics require coaches to have respect and promote a high standard of behaviour. Public criticism of players, the FA, sponsors, and all other stakeholders is unacceptable. As expected, in a normal game or training session, a player may be rebuked or charged at by the coach for a mistake or failure to follow an instruction, however the language used has not had any racist inferences, the FA is made to understand.

Segolame Bosija

As an Association, we expect the coaching staff, the players, and all relevant stakeholders to treat each other with mutual respect and treat one another in high regard.The FA has no knowledge of promises made to players for transfers to clubs outside the country by virtue of any relationship that the Coach may have with those clubs. Conversely, the FA is aware that players have been encouraged to work hard with the view of getting opportunities to play professionally in superior leagues. Selection of national team players remains merit based and there is nothing that suggests that the players that have been selected, were selected outside the mandate of the FA.

The remarks by BFA VP2 have been taken out of context. A word of encouragement by BFA VP2 for players to utilise the platform and opportunities they have to advance their careers should not be perceived differently. Any written agreement detailing the particulars of the Head Coach’s involvement in the three national team players’ recruitment and transfer to Morocco Botola 2 league club OCK should be availed to my office.

Zebras in previous AFCON qualifiers against Zimbabwe

 

BFA recognises the great potential for growth of Women Football in Botswana and for that reason, issues relating to women footballers are equally prioritised. The FA is available to partner with FUB in a campaign that can assist women footballers to professionalise.In recent times, BFA has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen dialogue and collaborate on key objectives shared. And, as part of the Unions objectives to defend the rights of professional footballers, the FA calls on the Union for cooperation and professional dialogue on matters of mutual interest.

The FA remains available to engage with the Union to hear the findings of the enquiry and agree a plan of action that can support and exchange ideas at a mutually convenient date and time.

 

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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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