Friday, December 1, 2023

BFA to open fraud and corruption case against officials

Botswana Football Association (BFA) will be looking at the possibility of opening a case of fraud and corruption as the Onkarabile Ratanang registration saga rumbles on.

This was revealed by the BFA chief executive officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo. Speaking in an interview, the BFA CEO said the association’s intention is to see culprits in the matter face the wrath of the law.

“I expect the matter to have been reported to the Botswana Police Service (BPS) if not it will be reported earliest this week. The issue is with competition department. I am yet to get briefing from them,” he said.

It is believed that the BFA’s heavy handedness on the matter will send a clear warning to all those intent on engaging in unprofessional behavior. According to Mfolo, the association will no longer tolerate unsporting behaviour or any deeds that may tarnish the image of football in the country.

The expected move follows a finding by the BFA Players Status Committee (PSC) that Ratanang’s registration by Township Rollers was unlawful. The PSC has since classified the player as a defaulter. The findings have cast shadows of uncertainty on the status Rollers.

It is alleged that the player was registered way after the closure of the transfer period and his registration went against the BFA constitution and the play rules and regulations. 

“This issue has dented the reputation of BFA because they misused the FIFA system of which the association is the custodian of. Expectation is that those who use it must be ethical and have integrity.  The belief was that they will use it for purposes it has been intended for disappointed,” Mfolo said regarding the conduct of the perpetrators.

He advised that in future, officials should not be forced to do wrong. He said they should rather report those who intend to corruptly abuse office or act unprofessional to the Accounting Officers instead of aiding unprofessional conduct.

On the way forward, the BFA CEO said they will be strengthening their operations to make sure the system is operated by people with highest level of integrity and honesty.

Concerning allegations that there are some teams which signed players outside the transfer period like Rollers did with Ratang, the BFA CEO Mfolo dismissed them as false and unfounded.

“If there is anyone who has evidence, they must bring it forward. We harshly dismiss the rumours that there are players registered outside window period. We have audited the system and found nothing to that effect.  We are clean. The allegations are baseless and unfounded” Mfolo charged.

In the aftermath of the PSC findings on the Ratanang issue, football now awaits to see what action will be taken against Rollers. The team may among other penalties face a deduction of points it gained using Ratanang, a possible demotion to lower decisions or monetary charges.

Meanwhile, the futures of two Rollers officials allegedly involved in the fiasco are still up in the air. The duo, team manager Motshegetsi Mafa and General Manager Sydney Magagane have been suspended pending their appearance before the BFA disciplinary committees.


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