Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Member of Parliament for Bobirwa who is also acting Presidential Affairs Minister, Shaw Kgathi said world football governing body, FIFA is entertaining the motives of certain political parties to instruct the Government of Botswana to hand over the running of the constituency football tournaments to Botswana Football Association (BFA).
Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph, Kgathi said Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is behind FIFA’s move.
“I blame FIFA for being political. They must stay away from politics. There is no formal complaint from BFA to say they are not happy with the way constituency tournaments are run. I challenge FIFA to tell this nation who officially complained to them and they must tell us who invited them into this country to carry their assessments,” said Kgathi.
The acting Minister wants the BCP to take blame on FIFA’s decision on constituency tournaments.
“Botswana Congress Party’s Chilboy is the one who travelled to the FIFA offices in Johannesburg to report the matter. By so doing I want to think he was confirming BCP’s position on constituency tournaments. I will not rest on this matter until BCP and its leader explain to Batswana why they are sabotaging the development of football in this country. I challenge BCP leader, Dumelang Saleshando, to make a statement in parliament, to tell this nation that one of his candidates is behind the plan to sabotage Botswana football.”
Kgathi said BFA has been committed and working hard to solve the matter amicably and he will not allow politics to ruin Botswana football.
Aspirant candidate for Mogoditshane Tumiso Chilliboy Rakgare said there are only two people that mess Botswana football: “The first person is the president and the second person is Kgathi. These two men want to control everything. They are a hindrance to the success of football in this country. This issue started in 2010 in one BFA conference in Maharaj when regions reported that the constituency league was not helping but destroying our football. Prior to that I personally met with Khama in 2009 and I told him that he must ask for advice about the constituency tournaments from those who understand football and FIFA regulations. Khama never took my advice but instead he chose to listen to bootlickers like Kgathi,” he said.
In a statement released from Umbrella for Democratic Office, UDC Secretary General Gomolemo Motswaledi said his party has always maintained that while grassroots football should be promoted, supported and carried out by appropriate institutions, the constituency tournaments as currently crafted are a populist and campaign strategy by President Ian Khama.
Political analyst Lesole Machacha said it is an election year and it means politicians will fight with everything to get a vote.