Saturday, October 23, 2021

Letshwiti’s name whispered in race for BFA President

The race for the coveted Botswana Football Association (BFA) Presidency seat is gaining momentum as various names continue to be linked with the post. 

The latest in the long list of names associated with the BFA hot seat is that of businessman Mclean Letshiwiti. Though he would neither confirm nor deny his desire to stand for the position in the coming elective country’s football assembly, Letshwiti is said to be positioning himself for the head seat in the BFA boardroom. 

“If I am going to stand I will issue a statement,” he said. “People have been approaching me all these years and the problem has been time. I did not have time to spare and serve football at the capacity of presidency,” he told Sunday Standard Sports.

He however said should he decide to stand, his interest will not be to merely to ascend the position of presidency but to serve as a leader and to correct the ills of football. “I am not the only one concerned about the ills of football; the entire football fraternity is concerned. If I stand I will stand to correct the ills of football,” said Letshwiti. 

Letshwiti however stopped short of confirming his intention to stand, rather promising to issue a statement to state his position when all consultations are complete. 

Asked if he would stand as an independent candidate should he decide to stand, Letshwiti said, “I will stand with others and I will not stand as independent.” According to him the BFA needs leaders who will make a difference. 

He observed that football people needed a leader with credentials to move football forward. Letshwiti’s other worry is that football leaders are preoccupied with premier league only while regions and other structures are being neglected. 

The other candidate who is likely to join the bandwagon is former Botswana netball Association (BONA) president, Bakwena Oitsile.  “I have been approached by two or three people in the recent past and they were to consult other group members and come back to me. I cannot tell you whether I am interested before giving the people who approached me feedback,” Oitsile said. The retired major general Oitsile said he was approached because of the problems besieging local football. 

Another name linked with the BFA Presidency is that of former Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) and Botswana Swimming Association President Ookeditse Malesu. Though nothing concrete has come out thus far, Malesu is said to be keen on the post. Malesu has previously served in the Botswana National Sports Council now known as the Botswana National Sports Commission as member of the executive committee. 

Whoever stands for the elections will have to slug it out with the incumbent BFA president Tebogo Sebego, who has declared he will be standing for reelection. When addressing the media on Thursday Sebego said if reelected, he will focus on changing the culture of football to be in line with the FIFA President Gianni Infantino vision of reforming the image of football. Sebego said he wants to develop football across all regions and his desire is to see all the regions benefit from FIFA programmes. He said the BFA will have to come up with projects that FIFA will fund and other regions will benefit if all projects are done timely. 

Meanwhile, all aspirants for the BFA top post will have to satisfy clause 44.3 of the new BFA constitution.  According to clause 44.3 of the BFA constitution, ‘the candidates for the position of the president shall have already been active in football, must not have been previously found guilty of any criminal offence incompatible with the position, have residency within the territory of BFA, must not be less than 30 years and not more than 75 years old.’ 

Unlike in the past the 2016 general assembly will see the number of delegates reduced as per the new constitution.  The new constitution clause 24.1 allows only 60 delegates being full members of the BFA and 14 non-voting members representing associate members. 

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