Friday, September 24, 2021

FIFA sanctions highly looming for Botswana

It looks not to be raining but pouring for the troubled Botswana Football Association (BFA). The BFA is just reeling from serious pornographic allegations levelled against its Chief Executive Officer, Keith Masters.

Masters’ allegations follow that of the Vice President for Technical Tariq Babitseng who is currently on suspension for allegations of financial misappropriation. But it looks like there is more than meets the eye at the local football controlling body. Information reaching Sunday Standard is that it might only be a matter of time before world football controlling body, FIFA, slaps Botswana with suspension.

FIFA is reported to be losing patience with the BFA regarding the long pending issue of the constituency league as well as lack of progress regarding ratification of its status in accordance with FIFA required statutes.

Ratification of the BFA status would mean changing of the constitution and that would require a general assembly. Sunday Standard is in possession of a strong worded letter from FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke dated September 25, 2014. BFA were given a deadline of March 16 and sources close to the matter say BFA will not meet the set deadline by FIFA.

“Lets be honest March 16 is just around the corner and it would be a short notice for them to call an assembly. But whether they like it or not they have to call an urgent assembly or else we are going to be suspended by FIFA. Definitely the BFA is not serious with the looming FIFA suspension and I wonder what are they going to tell the nation once FIFA throws the bombshell,” source said.

The source also added that FIFA pressure has put the current BFA executive committee under a tight corner in that their term ends next year and those interested would have to stand for re-election, while also calling the assembly would also mean new elections for the executive committee. Information reaching Sunday Standard is that other countries in a similar situation like of Botswana have long ratified their statutes immediately after being notified by FIFA; a typical example being the neighbouring Namibia.

In regard to the burning issue of the constituency league BFA is reported to be dragging its feet, something that might even further irk FIFA. It is not even clear whether the BFA would still meet the FIFA deadline of March 16 to bring constituency tournaments under their control. It is reported that people outside the BFA are the ones seriously engaging the government on the matter while BFA is no where to be found.

Efforts to contact BFA President, Tebogo Sebego were futile before going to press.

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