Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Kanye United on BFA crosshairs as football politics intensify

By Botlhale Koothupile

At the height of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) regional elections, the current regime eyed Kanye United owner Sebonego Sebonego as the man to succeed Lesego Leaketsa as the Southern Region Football Association (SORFA) chairman.

Sebonego refused, opting to rather focus on his team. Leaketsa went on to win the elections, only to be pushed out later as the BFA hierarchy opined that proper election rules were not followed.

And then Sebonego irked the BFA, appointing Leaketsa as Kanye United team manager. Now, the Kanye United owner and Leaketsa are a moving target, and are now allegedly in the crosshairs of the BFA hierarchy.

On Thursday evening, Kanye United escaped with no harm an attempt to have a disciplinary hearing instigated against it for allegedly using a defaulter in their opening league games, and all fingers are pointing at the BFA Secretariat as the instigator of the botched attempt.

“At the start of this season, Kanye United found a player at Echo who they wanted to use. They then wrote a letter to Echo expressing an interest in the services of the player and asking the team to give them permission to talk to the player, a request which Echo acceded to,” a source said.

“As is the norm, after Echo gave them a go ahead, they talked to the player and agreed terms with him after which they paid Echo an agreed fee for the services of the said player. As is procedure, when all the transfer requirements were fulfilled, Echo released the player’s registration book to Kanye United,” said the source.

“Echo even wrote a clearance notification letter confirming that they have released Masala to play for Kanye United and that all procedures were followed. A registration book was then made for the player by SORFA,” said the source.

According to a source, trouble started when ‘someone at the BFA secretariat’ called Francistown City Greens and advised them to help Gamaila in their case against Kanye United.

Five games into the season Mathaithai and Gamaila football club then wrote to SORFA alleging that Masala was a defaulter.

It all started on the 26th of October when Mathaithai allegedly wrote to SORFA alleging that on the 20th October, ‘Kanye United used a player by the name Galebuse Masala who is a defaulter’ in a match against them.

In their letter, Mathaithai alleged that ‘the player was loaned to Francistown City Greens and was not properly transferred or registered by Kanye United Sporting Club.’

Three days later on the 29th, another letter, this time from Gamaila, allegedly arrived at SORFA offices in which they contested that ‘Kanye United Sporting Club used a player by the name Galebuse Masala who is Gamaila Warriors player.’

In their letter, Gamaila however did not explain how a player, who was bought from Francistown City Greens, was their player.

Though the case was dismissed, it has left a bitter taste and accusations are now flying that the SORFA executive committee is being used to fight political battles.

“This case was fabricated at Lekidi and they have tried to influence teams and officials to collude against Leaketsa, Sebonego and by extension Kanye United. It is just politics,” the source said.

Reached for comment, Sebonego confirmed that his team faced a disciplinary on Thursday but said it was dismissed.

He however refused to be drawn into the politics of football, rather saying ‘he is happy that the matter has been resolved.’

Attempts to get a comment from the BFA proved futile as the association Public Relations Officer was said to be locked in a Mascom Top 8 plenary meeting.

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