“Botswana Football Association National Executive Committee (BFA NEC) and Botswana Football League (BFL) must be overhauled. They have failed football,” these are the words of Nicolas Zakhem, Gaborone United chief financier.
The no no-nonsense outspoken Zac, as Zakhem is affectionately called within the football circles, does not see any hope that the season or the elite league will start any time soon.
He observed that the BFA overrode serious constitutional issues which makes the BFL board unconstitutional. The BFL which is supposed to have 16 shareholders has only twelve members according to CIPA shareholding information. The missing clubs in BFL PTY shareholding are Lobatse Extension Gunners, Security Systems, Mogoditshane Fighters and Orapa United.
To him it is wrong for the non-complying team to represent Botswana in CAF confederation cup.
He further explained that in order to rectify the abnormality he suggested that after the shareholders’ issue is rectified, the prudent thing is to forthwith have a shareholders meeting to rectify the board of directors.
“As we stand now we have unconstitutional board of directors. Further I doubt very much that the league will commence September 11th,” he further explained.
Zac who was sitting in the transitional board further cast doubt on the league because there are binding resolutions that need to be met before the league starts.
“I wish to add that beside the unconstitutional issues we have, there are two board resolutions in place that the league will only start after securing at least P15 million sponsorship.”
He added that to start the league without sponsorship would be illogical to him. Covid-19 has left everyone limping, teams are definitely suffering and the absent of sponsorship and gate takings make it impossible for teams to fulfil their obligations.
He observed that the seven member BFL board of directors was elected by sixteen clubs instead of 12 members who are shareholders. The fact that the four non-members participated in the election makes the board illegitimate. And they cannot continue leading the BFL. To him the only person who is properly in the board is First Division representative, Sydney Magagane.
Zac has got no hope that anything good will come from the BFL board chairperson, Aryl Ralebala and his chief executive officer, Solomon Ramochotlhwane.
“I can openly tell you that we have heard too many false promises. Let’s hope and pray that they prove us wrong,” he said.
He blamed BFL CEO for failing to fulfil his promises. “The CEO had promised to reveal sponsors end of July and he is yet to reveal them. Promises are easy to make to please the crowd as newly appointed personnel, unfortunately, nothing is promising so far. In the absence of legitimate board, it is impossible to progress,” he opined.
Asked if he has confidence in the BFA NEC to guide the smooth start of the league, Zac had this to say; “I am no longer sure of anything, all I can say is that our football is drowning and there is no lifeguard nearby. Honestly, we have a smoking engine and in need of complete overhaul.”
He blamed BFA leadership for abdicating its duty and responsibility. “As I said above our football is drowning with no lifeguard nearby, as the latter is enjoying other beaches and doesn’t come to the appointed duty. What needs to be done is a complete overhaul. The way I see it we are heading for another collapse season”.
Zac observed that the other thing that casts serious doubt on the start of the league is that teams and shareholders are still waiting for answers on the licensing, though the submission was made seven weeks back. He wonders how it will be possible to start the league on September 11th.
“We had similar issue with the licensing for the last three years now. It is very demoralising. One thing I can tell you is that we are instructed to keep quiet and not criticise, otherwise we shall be shot down,” he said.
He also blamed BFA for unethical conduct and favouritism in staffing as undeserving people are hired which is disappointing and saddening as it goes against the progress of the game and good corporate governance.