Gaborone — Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has called on Botswana Football Association (BFA) to up their game.
Speaking in an interview recently, Tshekedi Khama, who has meet with BFA officials four times since his appointment, said he was dissappointed that the national football team, Zebras did not qualify for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, despite a significant budget allocations.
He said the country's football governing body was receiving funds from FIFA and government.
"I am not happy with the state of affairs at BFA.
So I want them to account and explain how they use their funds. I was informed that the players reported late for camp when they were preparing for their recent clash with Angola," he said.
He further highlighted that Zebras was not doing well due to the fact that the association was failing to retain coaches.
He pointed out that the status quo had made it difficult for the national team to be consistent.
Furthermore, he said he was not happy that BFA was lodging in hotels during camp, yet they had hostels, which could save money.
Another issue, he said was that of a football academy, which is to be constructed in Gaborone.
He said he was wondering why BFA wanted to have an academy, while countries such as South Africa were having challenges of running it.
He highlighted that the Rustenburg Academy spent R20 million yearly and he wondered why BFA would want to spend P150 million for one academy.
He explained that the move to have an academy in Gaborone was not a wise one adding that it could have been ideal to come up with some sort of an academy in most parts of the country.
"So it doesnt make sense to me that BFA would want to concentrate their developments mostly in Gaborone yet most football players come from the northern parts of the country. Government also want to diversify the economy.
Also, Khama said he had met with Gaborone City Council's Department of Town and Regional Planning on the issue of land for the academy.
However, he said the council was aware of BFA's request and the council wanted clarity on who will construct and maintain the roads once the request had been approved.
On the issue of women football, Khama said he was dissappointed that the association had halted women football league.
"What are we saying on gender equality?
Women also want to play and be active in football.
I also want to go and watch them competing in their league," he said.
He said he was of the view that women, like their men counterparts, should also be given the opportunity and support to play football.
As such, he said he would monitor whether BFA gives the women senior football team support since they would be starting their Tokyo 2020 women Olympic qualifying games on Friday.
Khama further pointed out that he had met with All Kasi, who had expressed their dissappointment at the way their contract was handled.
He said the apparel contract was given to a foreign company, while All Kasi still had a contract with BFA.
While BFA had confirmed the move, he said he had made them aware about govenment's Economic Diversification Drive initiative, which seeks to promote the growth of a vibrant and globally competitive private sector in Botswana.