Maun — Members of Nhabe Regional Football Association (NRFA) and affiliates have decried lack of implementation of initiatives and programmes by Botswana Football Association (BFA).
They aired their views during a meeting addressed by Team Sebego manifesto. The team, popularly known as Friends of Football, pleaded for support during the coming BFA elective general assembly.
The team comprises Tebogo Sebego contesting for the presidency, Maokaneng Bontshetse eyeing the first vice-president, Senki Sesinyi for second vice president, Itsholeng Disang for female representative, Kesego Okie and Goemeone Letebele both contesting for ordinary member positions.
Affiliates appreciated Team Sebego's manifesto, saying it promised to transform football.
They, however, expressed concern over tendencies where some once voted into office forget their promises. They wanted assurances on what would make the elected BFA leadership to implement what had long failed.
They argued that the BFA had failed regions hence football was still underdeveloped. BFA leadership, they said, were good in introducing good programmes which could benefit football in regions, but implementation was a serious challenge.
Attendees also revealed that it was not an easy task to vote all members of one team into office.
NRFA secretary, Moreotsile Juta expressed frustration that once they voted them into power, they neglected them and wanted assurance on how long would they take to implement their initiatives.
NFRA chairperson, Norman Sebele concurred that untrustworthy amongst leadership has brought down the status of football in the country. He said regions were not given the attention they deserved, noting that in Nhabe, there was nothing to be proud about as far as football development was concerned.
Rank ( + / - )Sebego admitted that the status of football has gone down, but vowed to restore its status once voted into office. The team, he said, comprised of soccer fanatics, knowledgeable in football dynamics and understand challenges faced by Botswana football. Through transformation, he said they would implement initiatives to develop and grow football in the country.
When he left BFA in 2016, he said Botswana was rated position 87 in the world in FIFA rankings but today the country stood at position 148. In COSAFA, he said the national team used to be in position four. In 2015, the team was in the semi-finals while in 2016 they played in the finals but today the team was not even in the top 10.
Friends of Football, he said, were committed to transform the image of football to greater heights hence their motto 'Football First,' noting that they believed that an executive committee they were the servants not the masters of other stakeholders.
Sebego also noted that currently the regions did not have powers to run football smoothly because of some changes in the constitution and pointed out that his team wanted to reinstate their powers so that they become semi-autonomous.
"We are ready to accept criticism and advices from regions because we are their servants not masters. Currently you cannot voice your issues freely because there is a lot of fear hence development structures were not functional such as youth development," he added.
He promised to revive regional structures and ensure they benefit from FIFA and CAF programmes aimed to develop football in countries.
FIFA, he said, offered great initiatives which could benefit regions, noting that when he left, FIFA injected P11 million for operational costs and his intention was to increase subvention for regions to P100 000 a year as they were struggling financially.
Sebego shared some of the initiative his team was bringing in to develop football such as players' welfare fund, training where all stakeholders in football be it referees, coaches or management would be drilled on their areas. Others include creation of a desk officer who would ensure implementation of programmes in the regions.
Source : BOPA