Botswana Boxing Association’s (BoBA) squabbles deteriorated further last week as the association moved to suspend its Vice president Dirang Thipe pending an investigation by BoBA disciplinary committee. Thipe was suspended for alleged ‘incompetency in his assignments as team manager of the boxing team’ that will represent the country at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth games slated for the 4th -18th April.
The BoBA vice president’s suspension was communicated to the media through a press release last week Wednesday. “BoBA executive committee at its meeting on 12th March took a decision to suspend Mr Dirang Thipe from BoBA activities and his role as the team manager for the Gold Coast (Commonwealth) boxing team. The suspension is with effect from 12 March 2018 pending further investigations and a possible disciplinary hearing,” so read the press release.
While BoBA has been cagey on what transpired, sources say at the root of Thipe’s alleged incompetency charge is the cancellation of the team’s planned week long preparation camp that was scheduled for Poland as part of preparations for the Commonwealth Games.
The long planned camp was cancelled due to visa application complications but the BoBA executive says Thipe, as the team manager, failed to process them on time. The association is of the view that the team manager had ample time to prepare the travel documents but instead he dithered and solely cancelled the preparations camp.
“They believe Thipe should have sought advice from the executive committee to avoid taking decisions alone. He might have been challenged by few logistics as there is no Poland embassy in Botswana, but it was just a matter of liaising with Poland boxing President to sort out the visa predicament at the Poland embassy in South Africa,” the source revealed.
Reached for comment, a furious Thipe said he was not surprised as the mission to suspend him has long been planned.
“It is surprising for people to demand visas from me where as there is no Poland embassy in Botswana. I had wanted to travel to South Africa to close the matter but there was no funding to travel to South Africa. For some time I tried to liaise with the Poland boxing authorities and they delayed hence I had no choice but to cancel the trip due to logistics challenges,” Thipe told Sunday Standard.
He added that the team has been disgruntled after his suspension as they were surprised by his exit on the last minute. “I can tell you that the team has been disturbed by my exit, both the coach and boxers have been demoralised by the politics that continue to drag down the sport,” said Thipe.
For his part, BoBA mouthpiece Taolo Tlouetsile said “we believe that team is strong and with the assistance of a psychologist boxers will cope with sudden changes prior to the competition. We still hope and have faith to bring medals home despite failing to polish boxers for a camp that was scheduled for Poland.”