Wednesday, October 21, 2020

BFA anticipated game changer beckons

The long-awaited Botswana Football Association (BFA) elective General Assembly is upon us. On Saturday, a group of 60 men and women will cast a vote to decide the fate of Botswana football.

From a pool of 22 talented candidates, the delegates will have a tough job of selecting only seven whom they believe are capable.

As expected, most attention has been on the presidential race. This is where the incumbent Maclean Letshwiti, will pit his wits against challengers Tebogo Sebego and Ookeditse Malesu.

But who are the other candidates? What are they bringing to the table? And most importantly, who should or will win their individual races?

The First Vice President Hopefuls

The race for the first vice president of the association will see Pelotshweu Mashlow Motlogelwa defend his position against Gabriel Ngele of Team Malesu and Maokaneng Bontshetse of Team Sebego.

As the incumbent, Motlogelwa is both loathed and highly regarded at the same time. An accredited chartered accountant, he is the man credited with giving the BFA some financial stability, something which his detractors however believe not to be true.

Motlogelwa, is a board member and a chairman of Finance Committees at both the Motor Vehicle Accident fund (MVA) and Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA).

He is also currently serving as the vice chairperson of the Finance and Audit Committee at Southern Africa’s regional football controlling body, COSAFA.

Though he will be viewed as a favourite, thanks to his incumbency, Motlogelwa will not have it easy against Ngele and Bontshetse, both of who he has worked with in the BFA Finance Committee and BFA National Executive Committee respectively.

Ngele is a Fellow Chartered Certified Account (FCCA), a Certified Risk Based Auditor (CRBA) and a Cerified Risk Analyst who is also qualified in Governance, Risk and Compliance Management.

He has served football in various capacities. Ngele once served two years in David Fani’s BFA executive before serving another two years from 2012 – 2014 as the BFA vice president Finance, Marketing and Research in the Sebego regime.

When Motlogelwa won the elections as the 2nd vice president in 2016, Ngele was one of the first men he called on to form what was then seen as a formidable BFA Finance Committee.

The third contestant, Bontshetse, requires no introduction in local football. ‘Max,’ as Botshetse is affectionately called within football circles, is an entrepreneur and a football administrator of repute.

As the chairman of the Francistown Region Football Association (FRAFA), Bontshetse is also a board member in the current Letshwiti led BFA.

‘Max’ came into prominence in or around 2008 when he became the leader of the Zebras supporters club and led what became one of the largest footballing movements in Botswana.

He has since been involved in football in different capacities where his marketing capabilities have come to great use.

More than anything, Bontshetse is considered one of the strongmen or kingmakers of Botswana football who has helped put many a candidate in the Lekidi boardroom.

Who will win the race?

Yarona FM sports anchor Kagiso ‘Fox’ Phatsimo opines the race between the three is tricky to predict and could go either way.

“I however hold a firm belief that given the disgruntlement with the current regime, Bontshetse of Team Sebego stands a better chance to win this one,” he says.

For Monty Gagomokgwa, while the battle will be between Motlogelwa and Ngele, Bontshetse cannot be ruled out.

“Bontshetse is a seasoned campaigner and electioneer and he can never be taken for granted. He has the potential to cause an upset,” he says.  

The Second Vice President Race

This will be another interesting race which will see the current acting second vice president Masego Nchingane come face to face with Solomon Ramochotlhwane of Team Malesu and Senki Sesinyi of Team Sebego.

Nchingane is another man who needs no introduction to local football. He has served the beautiful game as a player at Mogoditshane Fighters and the national team before trying his hand in football administration.

Following his election as the Mogoditshane Fighters vice chairperson in 2014, he was elected a BFA NEC member in 2016. Since then, he has been taken under the wing by Letshwiti with an intention to groom him for future leadership.

When Motlogelwa took over as the BFA first vice president following the suspension of the then incumbent Segolame Ramotlhwa, Nchigane was picked to take over as the second vice president.

While he will be looking to retain his position within the BFA NEC, his contest against the seasoned administrators Ramochotlhwane and Sesinyi will be as difficult as they come.

Ramochotlhwane is a career finance specialist and holds a Masters in Finance. He is also a BQA accredited training consultant.

On the football front, the former Green Lovers chairman is a reputable administrator with vast knowledge in coaching and administration of the game.

He is a holder of CAF B coaching license, a FIFA Grassroots instructor as well as a BFA coach educator or instructor.

Along with Mothusi Taolo of NICO United and the then Botswana Premier League (BPL) CEO Thabo Ntshinogang, Ramochotlhwane was part of the team that negotiated the P39 million league sponsorship by BTC.

He has also served as the BPL Board member, BFA Technical and Development Committee member and BFA Club Licensing Appeals Committee member, just to mention a few.

Ramochotlhwane not only carries a lot of expertise in training trainers, but has also tried his hand in coaching at both Makgabisanaga in the Nhabe Regional Football Association First Division as well as Maun Tigers in the First Division North league.

The third man in the race is none other than Sesinyi, a man known by many names within the football circles.

Senki is a businessman and a well experienced administrator who has played and administered the beautiful game at the highest level.

As a player, he has turned up for top sides like Township Rollers, Police XI, Wonder Sporting and Gaborone United. He has also played for the country’s junior national teams as well as the senior national team, the Zebras.

In his many years in football, he has also tried his hand as a referee as well as a coach.

On the administrative side, Senki has been an additional member of the BFA NEC from 2012 to date.

He is one of the founders of women football in Botswana and is the owner of Double Action ladies’ team as well as one of the founders of Young Strikers FC.

Popularly called ‘Groundforce,’ for his electioneering prowess, Sesinyi is known for his affinity to regional football leadership.

But who will take this one?

On the 2nd vice president nominees, Phatsimo believes Nchingane stands a better chance and looks more likely to win this one.

“As a former national team player, Nchingane is a well-known face and for me this gives him an edge over the other contenders,” he opines.

For Gagomokgwa, this will be another race that will be difficult to predict.

“As a first-time contender, Ramochotlhwane is considered the dark horse in the race. However, if Nchingane and Sesinyi continue with their sparring and ignore him, he will surprise them,” he says.

The Ordinary Members

This will be an interesting race which will see two extraordinary women take on seven (7) men for the three positions of Ordinary Members of the BFA NEC.

The women, Kesego Okie of Team Sebego and Theresa Hirschfeld of Team Malesu, will face off against Team Letshwiti’s Alec Monyake, Tebogo Kamati and Chandy Moruti, Team Sebego’s Carlos Sebina and Goemeone Letebele as well as Team Malesu’s Tokyo Modise and Davis Kopi.

A staunch Zebras supporter, Okie is a Public Relations, Communications and Media Relations specialist.

Her experiences have seen her rise from being a journalist at both Radio Botswana and Botswana Television to being a Public and Corporate Affairs Manager for Debswana’s Orapa and Letlhakane Mines.

Hirschfeld on the other hand is an administration and facilities officer who has been in the sport scene and administration for a very long time.

A very experienced administrator, she has served in football administration for close to 15 years.

Hirschfeld is a FIFA Administration Course Level 1 holder who has served football in various capacities as a match commissioner, a member of the BPL Management Committee as well as a member of the BFA Arbitration Tribunal Committee, just to mention a few.

As for the men, in Monyake and Kamati, team Letshwiti is bringing a new breed of fresh vibrant administrators, while Moruti is a steady hand having been in football administration for over 15 years now.

Monyake is currently the chairperson of the Kgatleng Regional Football Association (KRFA) and has also previously served the KRFA as a Secretary and vice chairman. He is also the BFA NEC Block representative.

Kamati on the other hand is a young leader who is currently serving as the First Division South League Secretary General. He has also served the game as the Kweneng Division 1 League Committee chairman, Kweneng Regional Football Association Regional Secretary as well as the BFA Youth Committee Secretary.

Rounding off Team Letshwiti’s Ordinary Member hopefuls is Moruti, a former Gaborone United and national team striker.

Moruti has previously served Gaborone United as a Secretary General and is currently a member of the team’s technical committee since 2010. He is also a founding member of Footballers Union Botswana (FUB).

Team Sebego will also be bringing the experience of Sebina and Letebele. Sebina is the current chairperson of TAFIC football club, a team he has also once served as a Marketing Manager.

As for Letebele, he is the current chairperson of the Gantsi Regional Football Association. He is credited with having started youth leagues in the Gantsi region.

With regards to Team Malesu’s Modise and Kopi, they are also reputable and long serving administrators of the beautiful game.

Modise has an attractive resume in youth football and has served it for more than 25 years, having been a member of the BFA Youth Commission from 1994 to 2001.

Kopi on the other hand has played the game at the highest level, having donned the national colors for the junior and senior national teams. He is also a coach and a former vice chairman of the Botswana Retired Footballers’ Committee.

And the Winners?

Phatsimo is tipping Moruti, Kopi and Okie to steal this one. He says by virtue of being known figures in football, Kopi and Moruti stand a better chance. On the other hand, he says Okie’s character and expertise, along with campaigning on the Team Sebego ticket stands her a better chance.

For the ordinary members, Gagomokgwa singles out Okie as the one to watch, but says this will be a tricky one to predict.

“Based on capability alone, Okie has a very rich curriculum vitae and based on that alone, she should be an easy pick. But this is football and nothing can be predicted,” he says.

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