Tuesday, May 18, 2021

BFA kingmakers prepare for battle as elections loom

In less than twelve months, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) will head for its elective assembly where there will once again be heated contests for the Association’s influential positions.

At the moment it’s unclear who among the key players in local football will stake their claim to the BFA’s hot seats as most candidates are playing their cards close to their chests. However, prominent positions that will be contested for include that of President, Vice President and even additional members. Already, whispers from within the BFA indicate that the Presidency will be contested by incumbent Tebogo Sebego, fellow executive committee member Marshlow Motlogelwa and even former Vice President Segolame Ramothwa. 

More names are expected to come up as the campaigns heat up. Traditionally, Maokaneng Bontshetse and Fobby Radipotsane are known to be the kingmakers in the BFA elections. The two are renowned foot soldiers who can make or break candidates. They are said to be seasoned football politicians who know the ins and outs of Botswana football and whose backing has guaranteed a victory for past and present BFA Presidents.  

It was Radipotsane and Bontshetse who were instrumental in ousting David Fani and bringing in Dikgang Phillp Makgalemele as BFA President. Without missing a beat, they masterminded the fall of Makgalemele and once again brought back David Fani in the following elections. Radipotsane also marshaled Fani’s ouster in the 2012 BFA elections, ushering in the incumbent Sebego. 

This time around it is not exactly clear as to who the king makers will be backing in the next elections. Radipotsane who is chairperson of the Tswapong region told Sunday Standard that he will make up his mind next year January. 

“I am serving in the Tswapong region and as such I cannot say much because I was once suspended. I will only make my stand known early next year because I intend to quit the position I currently hold,” he said.

Though he has kept a low profile for some time, Bontshetse also made it clear that this time around he will be very active in the BFA campaigns because he is not lost to football. He further said no candidates have so far come forward to lobby for support from the regions. 

“Honestly I am not aware of any candidate who intends to stand. Those who will be standing should come out of their shells and sell their mandates to us. They should tell us how they will be taking Botswana football forward compared to their predecessors,” he said. 

It remains to be seen whether Sebego will defend his position. He has not really had it easy at BFA ever since he took the reins. His decision to expel Police XI and Security Systems disappointed many football followers, even those close to him. Even the appointment of the current national team coach did not go down well with some football pundits.

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