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Botswana Football Association (BFA) and Notwane Football Club may be headed for a legal showdown over the non invitation of the latter to the BFA Annual General Assembly (AGA).
This is all despite Notwane being part of the 16 team Botswana Premier League (BPL). According to the norm, teams in the BPL are invited to the BFA AGA as affiliates.
According to sources, while Notwane have already paid affiliation fees to the BPL following their promotion from the First Division, it is alleged they were said to have not been invited as ‘they are not yet affiliated to the BPL.’
“This is not exactly what was expected. As far as we understand, by virtue of their promotion and subsequent payment of affiliation fees, Notwane became affiliates of the BPL. The decision to not invite them is therefore questionable,” a source said.
Already, it is said that the club is considering taking the matter to the Disciplinary Committee for interpretation and is said to have alerted the BFA of such. While the BFA is said to be adamant that there is no malice in the non invitation of Notwane, some are already viewing the act as the continuation of the pronounced factional battles at the BFA.
“This move may be geared towards ensuring that Tebogo Sebego, who is the representative of Notwane, does not attend the BFA AGA,” the source continued. “It is part of the factional wars between the MaClean Letshwiti led BFA National Executive Committee (NEC) and that of former BFA president Sebego,” explained the source.
Reached for comment, Sebego confirmed that his team has not been invited to the AGA but refused to shed further light on the issue. He however confirmed that they have approached the BFA on the matter.
“We are engaged in talks with the BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo to try and get to understand why we are not invited,” he said.
Reached for comment, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said Notwane has not been invited to be part of the AGA as they are yet to be ratified as affiliates of the BPL.
“The provision is that delegates qualify to attend the annual general assembly by their positions in the league during the season under contention. (That is where you were as at the end of the season is where you attend the assembly),” Mpatane said.
“Notwane for the 2017/2018 season played and attended the first division assembly. Therefore they qualify for the general assembly under the first division south. During the first division south assembly which Notwane was part of, delegates to the BFA General Assembly were nominated and Notwane had the right to be nominated as per the BFA constitution. The general assembly closes the season,” he explained.
“As per the resolution of the first Division south Notwane will be represented by the four delegates that have been elected at the NFD assembly,” said Mpatane.
“To the best of my knowledge Notwane affiliates to Gaborone region in advance before the 31st May and for purposes of this discussion to the FDSL in arrears, that is, what they pay this year should be where they were playing during the 2017/2018 season as per the BFA play rules,” the BFA PRO added.
Mpatane said this has always been the norm in the past BFA General Assemblies and Notwane is therefore no exception.
“Notwane, BR Highlanders and Prisons XI will qualify to attend the BFA General Assembly as BPL Board members in 2019 even if they relegate. Only teams which were part of the BPL in 2018 qualify to represent the BPL at the BFA assembly,” he concluded.