Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Football authorities ignoring FODA

Tow years ago, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) came up with an ambitious programme called Football Development Appeal (FODA) to take Botswana football to greater heights.

The aim of the project was to raise more than P200 million and construct two full fledged academies with fulltime personnel. The plan was launched by none other then BFA patron, and the President of the republic, Ian Khama. At the launch, several high profile personnel, including Khama himself, figures and companies pledged huge sums of money. Even some members of parliament, like Bobirwa’s Shaw Kgathi, pledged to mobilise resources in their respective constituencies. But up to now it is rare to hear of a member of parliament selling the idea to their constituents. And the way things were at the time, it was evident that bigger things were coming. The Libyan embassy pledged to help Botswana with a design plan free of charge, meaning that if money was available things would go smooth. Currently, nothing much is heard of the programme and not even a fraction of the targeted money has been raised. So far, only about P200 000 is in the account.

There are accusations that the current BFA leadership is giving the issue little attention because it was not their idea but that of the former committee, led by Dikgang ‘Philip’ Makgalemele. On the other hand, BFA Chief Executive Officer, Mooketsi ‘Tosh’ Kgotlele, admits that the programme is going at a snail’s pace.

But he made it clear that the BFA has put in place many initiatives to drive the idea and ultimately meet their targets. “Things are not the way as they should be on this issue, but I can promise Batswana that a lot more is coming and the issue will drastically go forward. We have engaged an advertising agency to mobilise the funds. We have engaged an advertising agency called Native Impressions. They have already started with the work and are working hand in hand with large local companies like Choppies Supermarkets. I am hopeful that engagement of an advertising agency would once again signal more good things to come,” he said. Kgotlele also added that more details would be availed to the press sooner. The FODA appeal was a carbon copy to that of the University of Botswana whereby many Batswana contributed beasts to raise the money. Many Batswana, however, especially those in the rural areas, do not have clarity on the donation. Some are reported willing to contribute but they do not know who to contact and how. This time around, the BFA wanted to have met their targets, but it seems even the ground work has not even begun. Taking into consideration that the programme had the backing of the President who, even at the time pledged three cows, things should have been far ahead by now.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.