On Monday, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Emergency Committee (EC) sanctioned National Executive Committee (NEC) member Carlos Sebina.
In a letter dated 27th April and signed by BFA president Maclean Letshwiti, the only member of the friends of football faction in the BFA NEC was sanctioned for ‘his conduct and behaviour as a NEC member.’
Sebina’s alleged first offense, which came with a warning, was for his use of ‘uncouth remarks’ in the BFA NEC WhatsApp forum.
“The utterances you have made on the forum fall short of what is expected of a NEC member as such comments are demeaning, derogative and offensive,” reads the letter.
While no information is forthcoming on the nature of the words, the straight-talking NEC member is said to be very blunt in his engagement with fellow members.
On several occasions, he is said to have come hard on fellow members, even going as far as calling them out for ‘bogogorwane’ (amateurish behaviour).
The second sanction, a removal from his position as the chairman of the medical committee was for his alleged ‘failure to work cordially with relevant stakeholders.’
As much as the BFA NEC does not offer much information, allegations are that his removal cannot be divorced from the events of the Zebra’s penultimate Afcon qualifiers against Zimbabwe at the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium on March 25th.
On the said day when Botswana allegedly stood a chance to collect three free points without kicking ball, it is said ‘they were denied the chance by either naivety, honesty or sabotage’ by ‘some BFA officials.’
Ahead of the clash, Zimbabwean media had quoted their team manager saying the team would avoid staying in Botswana for long.
“Because of the Covid-19 situation, I think it would be ideal for us to leave on the eve of the match and use the results from tests done here for the game and come back. Please note that this is an option that I’ll present to the other guys and if they agree we will pursue it.”
If Zimbabwe had resorted to using the results from their country as per the said official’s alleged suggestion, they would have not been allowed to play as CAF regulations stipulate that a visiting team should test in the host country.
While it is yet to be known whether Zimbabwe team agreed to their manager’s idea or not, when the team arrived in Botswana on the eve of the match, they were allegedly not keen to test and had come without any arrangement for such.
Instead of letting Zimbabwe suffer for this, the BFA officials are then alleged to have assumed the risk and took a decision to test the Zimbabwe team.
“Normally, what should have happened is that the BFA should have only given Zimbabwe the names of accredited labs and left them to make their own testing arrangements,” a source disclosed.
In the aftermath of this, Botswana lost a golden opportunity to win a free massive three points which could have pushed the country towards Afcon qualification.
As the fallout from this alleged ‘lack of foresight’ began, all eyes turned to the Sebina led medical committee.
“If you read the letter from the BFA, it states that his removal was due to a ‘failure to work cordially with relevant stakeholders,” a source explained.
Unconfirmed reports say as the game against Zimbabwe delayed, the Zebras coach Adel Amrouche called out to BFA officials asking if the game should be cancelled or not.
“What we have since come to understand is that on the day of the game, he (Sebina) allegedly did not listen when asked on the possibility of stopping the game by one NEC member,” said the source.
Following the game, Sunday Standard learned on good authority that the association executives were awaiting the official reports from the match to look into the acts of its own personnel to see if there was any sabotage against the Zebras.
The BFA NEC was said to be seeking answers from ‘within and outside the NEC’ and employees of the association secretariat as to whether there was any sabotage.
While Sebina is only relieved of his duties in the BFA standing committees, there are allegations that he is targeted for removal as the only remaining member of the friends of football in the BFA NEC.
Pointing to the letter written to Sebina, a source said the fact that the BFA president concluded by expressing that ‘I trust that the rest of the NEC and I will have a good working relationship with you moving forward’ was a loaded statement.
“For now, he continues to be an NEC member. But if he fails ‘to work well with other BFA NEC members,’ he will be removed. Mind you, he already has a warning,” the source said.
The source further said that the fact that Sebina is seemingly the only individual suffering from the Zebras’ penultimate qualifier debacle against Zimbabwe should not go unnoticed.