Monday, December 6, 2021

Masters takes a potshot at BFA as his departure looms

As the Botswana Football Association (BFA) President Tebogo Sebego and his entourage are witnessing live the unsavory revelations unraveling at the International Football Federation (FIFA), back home, a new Keith Masters’ brewed storm is threatening to put the association in turmoil. After months of keeping mum on what transpired before he left his post as the BFA CEO, Masters has now penned a five page email to the media intending ‘to set out the full facts and the findings of my own investigation which have been totally confirmed as correct.’
In his written findings, which are likely to paint an unflattering picture of the infightings and backstabbing at the local football mother body, the former CEO is accusing the BFA National Executive Committee (NEC) of conspiring against him. While it has always been an open secret that there are wars within the BFA, Masters’ ordeal, as one source closer to the BFA NEC has alluded, shows the ‘sickening extent’ to which some people may go to discredit others. In what will go down as one of the most dirty wars within the BFA power corridors, Masters made headlines when an investigation was instigated against him by the Botswana Police on his birthday on the 26th of January after he was ‘found in possession of pornographic or obscene materials at his office at BFA.’ This followed a tipoff from some member of the public.
Narrating his story, the Briton said his ordeal started when he had a misunderstanding with a certain member of the BFA NEC. Masters says the problem started when he refused to take orders from the said NEC member, who then became incensed and “shouted that he would ‘get me fired’ at the next NEC,” Masters explained. While the former BFA CEO said he could not divulge the name of the person behind the leaked pornographic video that saw him booted out of his job, he said the same person ‘requested permission to address the NEC without my being present’ during the BFA NEC meeting on the 9th of January. “I objected but was instructed to leave the room by BFA President ÔÇô Tebogo Sebego. I was not informed of any of the deliberations which took place after I had left the room,” the Briton said.
Speaking in an interview after his explosive email to the media, the Briton said he believes it was during this person’s presentation that the pornographic video was played and a decision was then taken to force him off his job. He said if this was not the case, ‘someone would have had the balls to be up-front with him.’ This version of Masters’ story was however denied by sources close to the NEC who said the video was never played during the said meeting. The sources however say Masters’ case has left some in fear as they wonder ‘how far people will be going to discredit each other in future if they could unearth private material to use against others.’ On his relationship with the BFA President, Masters described Sebego as a bully who wanted things to be done his way. “I have put it to him on one occasion that he is a bully. Ever since I got the job here, it has always been a case of me against them, we were never a team. Where I worked before, we used to have regular meetings but with Sebego it was the opposite. We were never a team. The only time he came was when something was not done the way he wants and he would come shouting abuse at me,” Masters said.
While he could not name other people in the NEC, the Briton singled out Sebego as being part and parcel of the conspiracy to get rid of him. “As the NEC were shown the video on 9th January 2015 then, it is my opinion that this circumstantially proves that the conspiracy against me was perpetrated by the NEC and I am of the opinion that it was orchestrated by the President who gave instructions for nothing to happen until he was out of the country which he expected would deflect such away from him. Other members of the NEC were also involved although I must, of course, absolve any blame from Stephen Phetle, Arnold Somelekae and Oathusa Baoke who joined or rejoined the NEC after this had happened.”
While he could not directly say it, the former BFA CEO implied Sebego was corrupt, saying as a leader, his failure to act proves thus. “So far as the person who carried out the breach of my privacy, and who has committed several crimes on behalf of the NEC is concerned, this is a person I have had problems with ever since I have been here. I have strong evidence to prove the man is both corrupt and immoral. I made a written complaint setting out a number of aspects against the man to Sebego who I know has done nothing about them. It is my belief that if a person in a supervisory position receives a complaint about corruption and immorality and ignores it then that too is a form of corruption,” Masters said. Sunday Standard’s attempt to reach Sebego or the BFA Vice President Finance and Marketing Marshlow Motlogelwa hit a snag as they are both attending a FIFA congress in Zurich, Switzerland.

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