Saturday, January 22, 2022

Sebego denies allegations of rift

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) president Tebogo Sebego’s administration has been under scrutiny from the first day. One would argue that it has not been an easy ride for Friends of Football who came into office amid high expectations.

Ever since Sebego took up his term in office in July last year, there have been reports that his national executive committee is a divided force. The NEC declined all this all along.

In public, some members of the NEC claimed to be buddies, laughing and joking. Behind closed doors there is no doubt that there are factions at Lekidi Football Centre.

Recently, NEC member, Tariq Babitseng, is alleged to have used the association’s funds for personal use. Some members of the NEC leaked the matter to the media and blamed Sebego for claiming ignorance because Babitseng was the boss’ campaign manager in the build-up to the elections.

Babitseng was eventually suspended pending disciplinary hearings. Matters took a new twist recently when BFA vice-president ÔÇô administration – Boyce Sebetlela was quoted in a daily publication saying that Sebego has not informed him about his trip to CAF Congress in Morocco.

As per the constitution, Sebetlela was supposed to have been acting boss at the association in Sebego’s absence. In many football observers’ eyes, Sebetlela’s statement seemed to underline that the NEC is not working in the same direction.

Some observers believe that Sebego will always be hammered because he wants to see change in Botswana football.

“He is a man of principle and that is why most people are not comfortable under his leadership. He is not only a football person and a successful businessman. As far as I know, Sebego was supposed to travel with Sebetlela to Morocco but he pulled out, claiming that he had work commitments. So I find it baseless for Sebetlela to have been quoted as saying he was not aware that the president was away,” said a source.

Since his return from the CAF Congress, Sebego has kept his cool regarding some of the issues which concern his leadership. In an interview before his departure to China on Thursday, Sebego said he is not going to compromise his principles because of public perceptions and small talk. As far as he is aware, all is well at BFA. “If things are done well in the best interest of the game, I don’t have a problem with that. As far as I know, we’re working well. People have to understand that in every environment, people are bound to differ. Whenever we cannot agree on something, we vote and that’s how it goes. The only problem I have is that some members of the NEC do not have respect for confidentiality,” said Sebego.

On what Sebetlela said in the daily publication, Sebego said that it came as a shock to him because his right-hand man was aware. The BFA boss said he discussed the matter with Sebetlela upon arrival and he said he was misquoted.

“Meetings of CAF and FIFA are not a secret and all members are aware of it. In my absence, the Vice President Administration is the man tasked with performing my duties. It’s simple as that but that report should not be like we’re not in good terms,” claimed Sebego.

The charismatic BFA leader further denied that he has been treating Babitseng with kids’ gloves as a way of rewarding him for the good job he did in campaigning for him. Sebego made it clear that people are equal hence he referred the allegations against Babitseng to the Disciplinary Committee.
“If there are any allegations against a member of the NEC, he/she will be brought before the DC for the charges. This is why the case has been referred to the DC. People must understand I’m not the one to take action against any member,” Sebego said.

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