Sunday, October 17, 2021

Bad blood stains BFA, Asinamona deal

Botswana Football Association (BFA) has cited its former president Tebogo Sebego as third party to the proceedings in a case involving them and Asinamona Investments (PTY) Ltd.

The South African based consultancy company has dragged the local football mother body to the High Court demanding payment for services rendered.

Asinamona is demanding in excess of P400 000 from BFA as payment for helping to negotiate a P6 million sponsorship for the First Division league.

Then under Sebego, the local FA is said to have entered into an agreement with Asinamona in early 2016 but the current Maclean Letshwiti led FA is disputing the legality of the agreement.

Asked whether such agreement exists, BFA Legal and Compliance Officer Tumisang Hule sought to distance the association from the deal as he questioned its legality.

“There is something that appears to be an agreement that was allegedly entered into between the association and Asinamona,” Hule explained. “But as the association, we distanced ourselves from the agreement because it was not sanctioned by the BFA National Executive Committee as it is supposed to be,” he said.

Hule added that while Sebego had signed the agreement, their view as the current regime is that it is not binding as the former BFA president had ‘no authority to sign on behalf of the FA without the go ahead from the association NEC.’

He said the association had called the former BFA president as a third party to the proceedings for him to shed light as to who ‘gave him the authority to sign the said agreement.’

Hule said once Asinamona approached them with a demand for payment, they combed through the minutes of the BFA NEC meetings prior to the signing of the contract to check whether the NEC had agreed to such contract.

“We would know whether this agreement was sanctioned if it was recorded in the minutes. We went through the NEC minutes and there was nothing,” he said.

Hule said upon such realisation, they wrote back to Asinamona informing them they could not acknowledge the agreement as there were no records to show it was sanctioned.

“We informed them that we were terminating it with one month notice. They then informed us in writing that even if we terminate, there were still outstanding fees they have to be paid for services rendered,” the BFA Legal and Compliance Officer explained.

“We then wrote to Sebego seeking clarification on the Asinamona contract but unfortunately he did not give us the clarity we sought,” Hule added.

He says following failure to get clarification, the association had no option but to let the matter go to court.

Meanwhile, those close to Sebego say the former president has decided to keep his silence on the matter as he deems it as personal vendetta by some in the current BFA leadership towards him.

According to a source, Asinamona was roped in by the then BFA NEC to help secure sponsorships. It is said when the then association Chief Executive Officer Kitso Kemoeng got into the CEO hot seat, he then used the company as it was the BFA negotiator.

At the time of their engagement, the consultancy company was said to be busy trying to renegotiate the renewal of deals between Orange Botswana and Banc ABC with the BFA.

“Kemoeng opined that given the number of sponsorship negotiations being undertaken, it would be in the interest of the association to engage Asinamona to negotiate the Debswana First Division league sponsorship with Debswana on behalf of the association,” the source revealed.

The source said given Debswana’s reluctance to renew the sponsorship due to the negativity surrounding football, it was Asinamona who did all the legwork, which included Impact Assessment Analysis and eventually swayed Debswana to renew.

“The reason why Sebego is keeping silent is because he is fed up with the continued assault on him by some people in the current NEC. He is ready to go to court,” the source disclosed.

Still on the matter, sources have questioned why Letshwiti agreed to sign a deal negotiated by Asinamona.

The signing of the agreement between Debswana and the BFA was one of the first deals signed by the association under Letshwiti’s regime.

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