Monday, May 17, 2021

Football administrators cry foul over BFA league season

Botswana Football Association National Executive Committee (BFA NEC) is accused of undermining football and its supreme body, the BFA General Assembly. 

The accusations come hot on the heels of a statement purportedly issued by the BFA president Maclean Letshwiti indicating that the league season will begin in February and end in November. 

Addressing the matter, concerned football administrators said if the statement is true, ‘the league that is to be played in February will be illegal and BFA NEC would have put the game of football into disrepute.’ 

The administrators argue that such a move will be contravening the decision taken by the General Assembly, which is Botswana football’s supreme decision-making body.

The assembly comprises of the Regional Football Associations (RFAs) leaders from the 17 regions across the country, premier league teams, first division national league representatives and national executive committee. 

During its last congregation last year, the general assembly rejected a motion placed before it by the BFA NEC to change the local football season calendar from August- May to February – November. 

However, in a statement released late last year, the Letshwiti led regime seem keen to override the decisions of the general assembly.

“The coronavirus pandemic has truly changed the way we do things. It has forced us to move from our football season to become a February/November season, so we have set the wheels in motion to start all the leagues from February next year, for us to be in alignment with the FIFA, CAF and COSAFA calendars,” so reads Letshwiti’s statement.

“If the season is to start in February to November it will be illegal and the assembly has rejected the motion calling for change of season. There is no structure above the assembly that can reverse the decision of the general assembly” opined one chairperson.  

He further said: “Our understanding is that the league season for 2020/2021 was supposed to have started in November/December to and push it to end in June at least so that the 2021/2022 season will start as normal in August.”  

The assembly was held when most leagues were playing matches that were left behind because of COVID19 pandemic and some were starting their delayed seasons.

“The BFA president nor the NEC are not above the laws governing football. The assembly is the supreme body to make decisions and that is why when NEC has taken the decision that are taken to the general assembly for ratifications. The motion to change season was rejected by assembly and BFA NEC can’t ratify or change the decision of the assembly” one regional football chairperson explained. 

They also observed that there is no how the season can start in February without changes to the constitution. 

“Football season is being regulated by the BFA constitution and affect other structures because they have to hold meetings and stage elections in May after the football season.

“The issue was brought before the assembly for discussion and it was never the CORONA pandemic they NEC proposed to change the league season which the assembly rejected. The next set was for the NEC to resume the 2020/2021 delayed season in November or December” they observed. 

According to them there was never commitment from the BFA NEC to start the league season as the assembly has directed. “There is Trumpism in our football; people do as they please with disregard to the constitution. Under the current leadership the BFA assembly is nothing. Football has been put in the side lines. The February – November season will be illegitimate” they observed. The further noted that the BFA is not coming up clear whether the Feb – Nov season means that the BFA has jumped another season.

What is the way forward, Sunday Standard Sport asked “no team will relegate from playing illegal season and we are working hard to encourage teams not to partake in the illegal February – November season. We are also planning to expose the investors who are behind this, they are controlling everyone and do as they want” they planned.  More litigation should be expected because BFA NEC is going against the decision of assembly.

BFA NEC ended the league prematurely with premier league teams having 10 matches to finish the season.

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