Circumstances surrounding the sponsorship of the Premier League are a stark reminder of just how gullible and deceivable we remain as a nation.
From the look of things, the people running Botswana’s elite football league – the Premier League – have been all too happy to ditch Mascom Wireless, a solid and reputable company with a long and established track-record, a company that has faithfully stood by Botswana football over the years simply because of the lure of a few unknown guys from an obscure Zimbabwe television outfit who arrived in Botswana a few weeks ago and started promising heavens.
This is absurd and irresponsible to say the least.
The quality of Botswana’s football administrators is a bad reflection of what we are made of as a nation.
If, as it looks likely, there is no money coming forward, the entire committees involved in bringing the new order should with immediate effect be sacked from their positions.
Even a layman who has only a passing interest in football can confidently say the way things are unraveling, the football authorities have decimally failed to do what is expected of people in their positions of responsibility.
It would look like without doing any independent audit of the capabilities of the new sponsors, Botswana football authorities took decisions which, when scrutinised carefully, could easily come to pass as the most childish and amateurish (much more amateurish than Botswana football itself) they have made in a long time.
Some years ago, under pressure of diversifying the economy away from minerals, the Botswana government started a scheme called Financial Assistance Programme.
Under the scheme a lot of cash and other goodies were doled out to foreign investors as a way of begging and appeasing such foreign thugs to set up their businesses in Botswana with the hope of creating the much needed employment.
No independent checks were made of the thousands of counterfeit foreign investors that descended onto Botswana.
No thorough analysis and checks were made on the reputations and credibility of the incoming investors.
As a result, no sooner did the thugs access the government money than they escaped into thin air.
We make reference to the Financial Assistance Programme because however positively one tries to look at the agreement between the Premier League and their so called new sponsors who, as we now know, has not forked a single thebe, one is reminded of the fact that we have been through this route before.
Initial indications are that this new company has no money in the bank account; that is if they have a bank account in Botswana at all.
The deal, therefore, has all the hallmarks of the FAP scheme under which the Government of Botswana was swindled of millions of Pula by people pretending to be investors when the truth of the matter was that many such people had never in their entire lives ran even a small corner shop.
What is even more disgraceful is that the media, especially sports journalists, have been called all sorts of names simply for having called for caution and skepticism in the way the new sponsorship deal was being handled.
We cannot think of a more disgraceful and ungrateful way the Premier League could have treated Mascom.
But that is of no concern to us.
What we are concerned about is the caliber of people who are today marshalling Botswana’s football.
What is of concern to us is the attitude of the administrators who seem not just to be economical with the truth, but also seem to go as far as to take the nation, who they like to say they represent for granted.
Again it goes without saying that the quality of Botswana’s football administrators seems to be much lower than the standard of football in Botswana.
And, as we all know, by any standards, Botswana’s football is of despicably low quality.
From time to time, we have been told that the reason why Botswana football is not growing is because there are not sufficient resources allocated to the sport.
While we agreed with that assertion, we have always been quick to also add that over and above money, it would be equally important to get more serious people, well versed in the intricacies of business to man this sporting code. As it turns out, our fears have been confirmed.
If we continue with the low quality of football leaders that we currently have, we can rest assured that the cunning wolves will perennially dupe us as a nation.
Of course, the players are the first victims.
But given the emotions invested in the love of football, it also amounts to psychological abuse of the nation.