Friday, October 23, 2020

Blood on the floor … Consequences of the BFA vote

On the eve of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) elections on Friday, rumours had already made rounds that Maokaneng Bontshetse would resign if Team Sebego lost elections.

The Francistown Football Association (FRAFA) chairperson had allegedly already relayed the message to both his allies, as well as those in the BFA executive.

As the Minister of Sport Tumiso Rakgare, who was the guest speaker at the BFA elective General Assembly, preached reconciliation one would have thought ‘Max,’ as Bontshetse is affectionately known would reconsider.

However, on Sunday, just a day after his team lost, ‘Max,’ lived to his word and tendered his resignation as the FRAFA chairperson.

Like many of his colleagues, Max knew he would be a marked man should his team lose the elections and he was not ready to tempt fate.

While in his letter he stated ‘he had served two terms and he felt there is a need for a new leader to take over,’ those in the know say this is not the case.

Since breaking ranks with the Maclean Letshwiti led camp to rekindle his relationship with the Tebogo Sebego led Friends of Football, he had had running battles with the BFA.

By the time the elections drew near, Bontshetse had already received the dreaded ‘show cause why letter’ from the BFA. 

For him and his FRAFA colleagues, this was a signal that the battle lines had been drawn in the sand and he was now in the crosshairs of the regime.

His only salvation would be if Team Sebego won the elections. If not, his only other option would be to bolt out before the powers that be decided his fate.

“Max still had two years left before his term as FRAFA chairperson elapsed,” a source says. “He however knew that if he stayed with the FRAFA structure to see out his term, FRAFA will feel the wrath of his decisions,” the source adds.

To spare FRAFA some unnecessary strife with the BFA, and to save himself from the expected wrath of his former allies, Max chose the easiest way and bolted out.

Bontshetse is not the only one seeking to bolt out. One losing candidate has also stated he will be leaving his position.

Speaking to this publication on Sunday morning after the elections, one delegate who is aligned to Team Sebego said he would be leaving his position.

“I do not expect there will be any truce after this. Prior to the actual voting, I received a call from the BFA president requesting that I vote for him. I declined the request and informed him I would not betray Sebego,” alleged the delegate, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The delegate said following his defiance, he feels he will be targeted and he has no option but to leave before anything can happen.

“Over the years, we have seen how this association can be ruthless when dealing with opponents. If I stay, I risk being slapped with a charge and an indefinite suspension while awaiting a hearing. It would be better if I left now,” the delegate said.

As they move on, the delegate said they will have to work with football as outsiders to avert their regions from incurring a wrath meant for them.

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