Sunday, October 17, 2021

Angry Minister Olopeng throws out FIFA rule book

The Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng this week added high octane politics to the football drama unfolding at Likidi which already has everyone on the edge of their seats.

After an action packed week that saw the Premier League board recalling its Chairman and his deputy, suspending the league CEO, Bennett Mamelodi and his personal assistance it seemed things could not get any worse. They did. On Thursday a security officer and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) investigators invaded Likidi (BFA headquarters) impounding files and computers from the league office.  The graft busters raided the premier league office after alleged misappropriation of funds by the elite league office.

Then Minister Olopeng this week decided to up the ante: He threw out the FIFA rule book and summoned the Botswana Football Association, Premier League and Botswana National Sport Commission to his office to explain the ‘embarrassing’ saga.  In an interview with Sunday Standard Sports, Minister Olopeng confirmed that “I have called them to come and explain to me what is happening” he said.

Olopeng scoffed at what he called, “a shame to Botswana sport.”

 “After the briefing I will take action immediately and if unpopular action needs to be taken let it be and I will not hesitate. I will not condone everything negative” he said.

He said sport codes have legal advisors and they have to do things according to the law following ethical procedures.

The minister further observed that “FIFA does not want government to interfere in football matter but if things are not going right I will interfere and BFA will be suspended. As leaders we use government money and we cannot just sit and watch when thing and not done right” he warned.  He said he will interfere and save public funds and wait for the right people to run sport rather than fear suspensions from FIFA.

He said sport needs not only government for financial assistance they need private sector also but f things are not done properly sponsors will be scared away from sport.

The minister said the premier league have to put their act together and do the right things.

BNSC is called to explain because the body is representing government in Sport circles. BFA top brass is to explain because they are the custodians of football in the country.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper