BY GODFREY MOWANENG
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) is incensed by the unceasing behaviour of football clubs obsessed with employing traditional spells to win domestic leagues.
The predicament is said to be a bad publicity factor for aspiring and current sponsors associated with local football.
The BFA is wary that magic charm (pheko ya Setswana) is gradually becoming an integral part of the game overshadowing football philosophies offered to coaches through their coaching courses offered by the association and international football community.
Speaking at the launch of the BFA Southern block promotional playoffs slated for Mochudi, the BFA regional football coordinator Setete Phuthego said it is shameful to witness the unflattering behaviour associated with the game. Phuthego advised that the sprinkling of stuff and muti works should not be done visibly in the presence of football stakeholders as it signals bad image for the domestic game.
Commonly known as “special projects” in the football fraternity, Phuthego warned that sponsors are against their brands associated with the unsporting behaviour displayed when clubs’ bout over pheko in some matches.
“It is disgusting to witness clubs visibly using such chemistry on the field in the presence of football stakeholders. We need to understand that football is all about training and applying tactics and skill,” said Phuthego.
He said it disappoints to witness coaches engaging in such acts as it now questions their tactical abilities. ‘’The BFA is always engaging club officials and coaches on the latest trends on tactical aspects of the game, but it has turned to that some coaches believe more on the magical beliefs than their tactics abilities.
“This has to stop as it is not also good for players that we preach to be developing. Stakeholders are also not happy with this trend as it is bad for their image so I urge you to avoid doing such during the playoffs,” fumed Phuthego.
Reference to pheko ya Setswana also known as muti practice in the local game was engraved when a traditional doctor came back to haunt struggling Mochudi Centre Chiefs recently dragging the club to the Francistown High Court that instructed debt collectors to seize the club’s property over an outstanding debt in favour of the wizard.
The traditional practitioner, Molaiemang Nkganetsang had demanded payment for allegedly assisting with cleansing services he offered the team when they won championship a few seasons ago.
Another recent predicament emerged when Gaborone United gaffer Philemon Makhwengwe was allegedly arraigned before Jwaneng police after a scuffle with a security guard at the Jwaneng Galaxy stadium over an alleged suspect of the coach sprinkling muti on the pitch.