Botswana Football Association (BFA) controversies and embarrassments seem perennial at the local football governing body.
The nation was shocked and puzzled when Under 17 boys’ team was kicked out of the regional COSAFA competition.
The Under 17 team failed the Magnetic Resonance Imaging test (MRI). In responding to the embarrassment, the BFA national executive committee (NEC) on Saturday suspended its chief executive officer, Mfolo Mfolo. The CEO was suspended with immediate effect pending the conclusion of the investigations.
Local football commentator, Jimmy George said the suspension is ill advised and the BFA leadership took the wrong decision to suspend him. “For the first time we see BFA leadership taking a decision on a topical issue but the decision they took is wrong. The BFA leadership acted like they were eyeing him and they used the Under 17 issue to punish him for the wrongs we don’t know,” observed George.
According to him there is no direct link between the CEO and MRI testing, “If there are people who are directly involved it should be the technical department, competitions and team’s general manager,” he says.
George further explained that the CEO is not directly involved in the selection of national teams and the technical department should take the blame and not to use the CEO as a scapegoat.
He said to avoid this in the future, there is need for the BFA to have structured youth leagues. “We do not have proper structured leagues with a well documented database of players. The data base will assist in monitoring the progress,” explained George.
Mfolo’s contract was extend by two years last September. “Mr Mfolo has under difficult circumstances managed to steer the ship and managed the organization in a respectable and efficient manner,” said BFA president MacLean Letshwiti, last year when extending Mfolo’s contract. His future is not certain and it is likely that he might be kicked out according to sources close to the authority. “Mfolo is likely to be fired because there are those within the leadership that want him out,” said a source within BFA corridors.
The BFA NEC on Saturday appointed a three men committee to investigate the issue and they are expected to the deliver report in seven days. The BFA further told the media that they will not entertain any interviews from the media concerning the suspension of Mfolo.
The COSAFA Under 17 tournament is also used as a qualifier for the Africa Under 17 Cup of Nations. Botswana has lost the opportunity to try their luck to pursue a slot in next year’s Under 17 Africa Cup of nations.