Botswana Football Association (BFA) Vice President Technical, Ernest Nthobelang talks at length when voicing his displeasure following the appointment of the new technical director, Benny Kgomela.
He feels undermined that an appointment could be made under his portfolio without him being consulted.
A fortnight ago, the former army boss stormed out of the National Executive Committee (NEC) after learning of Kgomela’s appointment.
While earlier he claimed that he left the meeting because he had to rush to a funeral, it has since come out that it was in protest over the new broom. Speaking from his home village of Mookane where he is attending to family commitments, Nthobelang said, “I’m not going to beat about the bush and claim that I’m fine with the appointment. Let me make it clear, it’s not like that I don’t like Kgomela but I wanted the right procedures to be followed. The whole thing puts me in a serious predicament if the man fails to perform because I’m the one who is going to be answerable.”
Nthobelang added that the technical director position is a critical one at the BFA as it is the heart of Botswana football.
He pointed out that he failed to understand how he was going to work with him as he was never consulted.
“I’m still waiting for some of the members of the NEC who approved him to tell me how we are going to work in ensuring that Botswana football moves forward,” Nthobelang said.
Asked whether the fact that Kgomela was appointed without knowledge showed that BFA leadership is not intact, Nthobelang responded, “I wouldn’t blame anyone who feels that but I want to believe that this was a challenge we’ll overcome in the future.”
When BFA declined to renew the contract of their then technical director Sonnyboy Sethibe in June last year, the BFA top brass claimed that they want to replace him with a reputable character who would take Botswana football to greater heights.
In the interim while in the search of their man, BFA appointed Philemon Makwengwe to keep the ball running. Makwengwe has been doing a wonderful job and many thought that he would be given the nod during the search.
After almost eight months of intensive search, BFA announced that they had chosen Kgomela as the man to steer football development in the country forward. As he assumes duty at Lekidi Football Centre (BFA headquarters) tomorrow morning, there is already a dark cloud hovering over his appointment.
While Kgomela should be celebrating his appointment to the top post, he is busy worrying about the allegations which have clouded his new position. There are reports that Kgomela does not fit the qualifications required for the post.
“He has the educational background but not the most important part which is technical. I hear that he has CAF B Licence but that is not true. I do not see him improving our football because he has not expertise in what needs to be done to take our football,” said a source.
BFA president Tebogo Sebego has come under fire for the appointment as many, including some NEC members, allege that the decision to pick Kgomela for the job was forced into him.
They allege that Sebego’s campaign manager Fobby Radipotsane is the one who was at the forefront of Kgomela’s appointment.
“Fobby has campaigned for Sebego in the build-up to the elections so this is payback time. It is time for Fobby to get back favours and there was no way out for Sebego hence he did not consult with his colleagues in the NEC,” continued the source.
Radipotsane distanced himself from the allegations saying that he makes no decisions for the BFA leadership.
“People will always say things to tarnish one’s name but I’m not moved. There is no way I can tell BFA president to appoint Kgomela and on top of that I’m not sitting in the NEC,” said Radipotsane.