During the build-up to the BFA general assembly, which was held at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) last weekend, complaints were raised from some quarters about the manner in which Sebego runs the game. Many were concerned about his complete disregard of input from other executive committee members.
“There is no way the game is going to grow if Sebego does not respect the input of his colleagues in the executive. Some of the guys are there just to make up the numbers. The only person he listens to is Tariq Babitseng, vice president-administration. Some of us are relieved that we are no longer at BFA,” said a former executive committee member.
When he ascended to the presidency in July 2012, Sebego, affectionately called Mara in football circles, was seen by both young and old as the messiah of football. Passion burned in his eyes when he talked about football during his campaigns, and many easily bought into his ideas. He raised pertinent issues that promised progress of the game. But, two years down the line that sense of optimism has faded. With heightening concerns that he runs the BFA as a one-man show, many within football circles are losing patience with Sebego. Recent reports that he has fallen out with his longtime associate and confidante, BFA legal advisor Doctor Pusoentsi, have further fuelled speculation that all is not well at BFA.
“I have always known Sebego to be a smart man, but I was disappointed when he told national team coach James Butler not to take local media seriously because they like petty talk. I could tell there was something wrong. I’m not surprised that he is said to be running the show alone,” said one journalist.
Radio Botswana sports journalist, Tiroyaone Lepotokisi also said things could be a lot better if Sebego consulted with his colleagues.
“If the allegations are true it’s bad for football. He needs to consult with his colleagues and he must learn to listen to others if he wants to be successful. In terms of his achievements, I think progress has been slow when you look at the things he said he will do,” he said.
Lepotokisi said Sebego’s trump card when he rose to the presidency, which was commercialization of the game, has not borne fruits so far. When approached for comment, Sebego said he was not worried by speculation and challenged those who accuse him to come forth with evidence that he does things without consultation.
“I have a responsibility to the general members and it has to be pushed aggressively. Yes, I’m a bit aggressive in my quest and I’m not going to listen to petty issues. I have no time for things which are meant to derail the progress of the game,” he said.
He pointed out that he has to present on his achievements when his term ends in two years and it will be suicidal if he wastes time on useless talk.
“We have laid the ground when it comes to commercialization of the game. All we need to do is restructure the secretariat. It is shocking that people say me and Pusoentsi are at loggerheads while we’re working on renewing his term,” concluded Sebego.