BY GODFREY MOWANENG
Botswana Football Association (BFA) has sent a letter of demand to its former vice president Administration Tariq Babitseng requesting reimbursement of monies it paid to the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC).
The BFA is demanding that Babitseng repays USD 7,256.93 of the contingency funds that was not accounted for after the national team played away against Guinea Bissau in 2014.
Following reports that the association sought to suspend Babitseng from football related activities, the demand letter is said to be the start of a process which will see the Extension Gunners Chairman go through integrity checks if he is to be part of the football community.
It is alleged that following the failure of Babitseng to retire or repay the contingency funds, the association was forced to pay the BNSC from its own accounts after the latter queried the validity of invoices handed to it back then.
Expressing their concerns on the matter, the BNSC had indicated that invoice number 0256C0/2014 of USD 7, 256.93 does not communicate what really transpired in Guinea Bissau with regards to accommodation.
“From the submitted receipts and invoices, it has come apparent that the description is very hard to read and the writing on them is difficult to read,” the BNSC wrote at the time.
It is alleged that the BNSC’s interest on the matter was piqued when Babitseng demanded BFA to repay him monies he had allegedly used to top up the contingency funds while in Guinea.
This was despite the BFA not having to pay for accommodation as they had an agreement in place with the Guinea Bissau Football Federation for accommodation to be paid by host nation during their clash.
In his report following the trip, Babitseng is alleged to have ‘claimed that six of the crew were not paid for by the Guinea Bissau federation as per agreement.’ It is said the situation then forced the BFA to pay their accommodation through the contingency funds.
It is however alleged that there was an anomaly in the invoice as it showed the six spent five days at Malaika Hotel despite the team spending four nights.
“BFA had paid for 31 people from Guinea and expectation was that 31 people should have been paid for by Guinea. A concern from Guinea was never raised to the effect that they will pay for a specific number of people and not as per the agreement thereof,” the BNSC report queried.
Reporting back on the trip, Babitseng, who was the Head of Delegation, indicated that due to security concerns, the association had included two additional members in its entourage.
“Due to previous experiences of compromised security in the host country, it was suggested that two other people join the technical team to travel with the team. Member of the LOC responsible for security Bickie Mbenge and Technical Director Benny Kgomela joined the team,” Babitseng reported.
It is said on the third day of the team’s stay at Malaika Hotel, the Chief Executive Officer of Guinea Bissau Football Federation informed BFA that their contingency has excess number of people as they are only paying for 25 as per CAF rules and the rest has to be paid by the BFA.
“Upon consulting the Welfare Manager and the Technical Director including the security personnel Bickie Mbenge we agreed that we use the contingency funds to pay for excess number of people,” reveals Babitseng’s report.
Babitseng’s report however contradicts with the one written by BFA second Vice President Marshlow Motlogelwa of November 03 2014.
In the report, Motlogelwa alleged that the Welfare Manager indicated that they did not encounter any problem with accommodation, ‘thus suggesting that Guinea had booked for the required number of rooms as per reciprocal arrangements.’
The report indicates that the team had a contingent of 32 people and if indeed Guinea paid for 25 people as alleged, the remainder should have been seven rather than its associated invoices and receipts showing six people.