Botswana Football Association leadership has been advised to make meaningful contributions in football and to also make plans ahead of time.
This was said by Debswana Managing Director, Balisi Bonyongo when officially opening the BFA General assembly.
Bonyongo challenged BFA regional leaders to be proactive and come up with projects that will make the association self sustainable.
“The BFA runs almost like a charity organisation dependent largely on donations and grants to sustain it,” noticed Bonyongo.
Bonyongo further observed that BFA has not been able to raise enough funding to implement its development programmes. He said football should not survive on donations because when donations stop the organisation will stop functioning. “Donations are for Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) not for BFA. You must be self sustainable,” Bonyongo.
He pleaded with BFA to define their purpose so that they can achieve on their mandate of developing football for generations to come. Bonyongo said the purpose of the assembly is for BFA to introspect, take stock of itself and also look at the successes, acknowledging the challenges and defining the path to an even bigger and better future.
He said there is need for BFA to develop playing grounds that are currently of sub standard.
Other than facilities, there is also a need to develop coaches and infrastructure.
“Sub-standard playing grounds and facilities exist across our country. There is limited development of coaching and referee skills. We have not developed enough globally competitive talent,” said Bonyongo.
He implored the leadership to make decisions that will have a positive impact on the economy.
“The action you take will have ripple effects not just in our generation but in many generations to come. The ramifications of your decisions today may well position football as an industry that will have significant impact on our country’s economic development, on employment and above all on national pride and unity.”
He said the current BFA leadership must make sure that after 50 years from now the next generations to come will be proud of their forbearers.
Bonyongo describes football as a source of entertainment and national pride for the people.
Though there are challenges Bonyongo observed that there has been a positive progress since independence. “When I was younger, for many years I was of the understanding that the official name of the Botswana National team was the “whipping boys of Africa!” Even war torn and drought stricken nations would have their way with us without breaking a sweat.”
He said Botswana has since improved on FIFA and CAF rankings.
The new BFA leadership who were voted in are Maclean letshwiti (president), Segolame Ramotlhwa and Marshlow Motlogelwa as fisrt and second vice presidents respectively. The ordinary members are Masego Nchingane, Eatametse Olopeng and Sinki Sesinyi. Suzie Montsho was elected the women representative in the NEC. Letshwiti beat narrowly beat Tebogo Sebego to assume the position of BFA presidency. Letshwiti receieved 34 votes while Sebego secured 28 votes.
The new BFA president, Letshwiti preached peace and pleaded with football people to stop infighting that delays progress in football. Outgoing Sebego wished him well in his new role as the BFA leader.