Last week, it was the Botswana Football League (BFL) Disciplinary Committee
(DC) delivering a chastening indictment of the Botswana Football Association
This week, it is the BFA’s own Disciplinary Committee delivering what maybe the
most damning indictment of the association. On Friday, the BFA DC ruled Rollers
had no case to answer on the charges of disclosing of confidential information
contrary to the BFA statutes.
The charges stemmed from BFA’s own ruinous penchant of trying to sanitize its
somewhat irrational decisions. In this case, the BFA, it seems, was trying to
strong-arm Rollers not to reveal the misdeeds within the association’s Transfer
Management System (TMS).
Taken to task over its alleged registration of a player outside the transfer
window, Rollers averred it was not the only team. It put it before the BFA that
Security Systems had registered players outside the transfer window.
BFA seethed at the revelation. It reacted. An impromptu ‘audit of the TMS’ was
allegedly undertaken. The revelations, according to the BFA secretariat led by
chief executive officer Mfolo Mfolo revealed ‘Rollers was the only team to have
breached the TMS rules.’ Rollers was slapped with a charge for disclosing
confidential information in the TMS.
Even as the BFA tried to muzzle Rollers, talks on the issue persisted. BFA
reacted again. A board member within the football association was suspended.
But the discussion roared on unabated. In exasperation, the BFA president
Maclean Letshwiti reacted.
He released a press statement to ‘warn, and dismiss with contempt rumours and
allegations peddled by some in the media, affiliate clubs, some officials in clubs
and football structures.’ The BFA president even went on to state that the
association had taken measures and instituted ‘relevant processes to address
the malicious intent to bring football into disrepute by some clubs and officials.
And like in the case before the BFL DC, when the moment of truth beckoned, the
BFA was found wanting. Called to show the audited paper trail showing Rollers
were the only club to have registered a player outside the window, BFA stalled.
Suddenly, the details or paper trail of the audit was confidential. It could not be
given to a judicial structure for a determination on a matter brought forth by the
This seemingly disingenuous approach was not so dissimilar to another the
association had taken in a matter handled by the BFL DC earlier. In that case, the
BFA had refused for the material witnesses, those who were involved in the
alleged ‘unlawful registration’ to come bear witness. BFA’s pretence was that the
said individuals had been suspended from footballing activities. In its ruling, the BFL DC’s lamented that ‘it did not get the benefits of the full details of just what
transpired’ in the player registration.
Fast forward to the BFA DC ruling, the similarity is staggering. The only
difference here is that whereas the BFL DC fell short of directly indicting the BFA
in its ruling, the BFA DC pulled no punches.
“There is an allegation of the existence of an audit trail report compiled by the
complainant for purposes of confirming or disproving the information submitted
by the respondent concerning the registration of Security Systems players. Upon
being requested to submit the said audit trail report to the committee, the
complainant declined to do so on account of the confidential nature of the
document and further on the belief it was irrelevant to the proceedings,” the BFA
In the absence of proof that Rollers could have got the information about
Security Systems alleged late registration of players from the TMS, the BFA DC
ruled it found itself ‘inhibited from making a ‘finding.’
Of greater interest however is the BFA DC finding on the registration of Security
Systems. This is where the BFA came unstuck. Its stance that Security Systems
had registered players as amateurs before correcting the registration to
professional after the transfer window had elapsed failed to hold water. In the
end, BFA was ruled to have manipulated the system to help Security Systems
register players outside the regulated transfer period.
“It is the committee’s finding that under the above circumstances, there is
evidence of manipulating of the system by the complainant in favour of Security
Systems Football Club,” the BFA DC ruled.