Botswana Football Association (BFA) presidential hopeful MacLean Letshwiti claims he already knows where he would get the money for the association, once elected.
Letshwiti, who is by no means short of confidence and charisma said he will run the football association the same way he runs his businesses. Says he: “I am a financial wizard and I already know where the money for financing the association will come from.”
He further commits to dedicating 80 percent of the association’s resources to development football if he wins the hot seat currently occupied by Tebogo Sebego. Letshwiti, who describes himself as a no nonsense and shrewd businessman, hopes to clean up the association currently plagued by poor management, maladministration and courtroom battles. If voted into office, the seasoned corporate leader says he aims to focus on grassroots so that local players attract international teams like English Premier League side Manchester United at an early age.
Speaking at his first press briefing on Wednesday after announcing his intention to run for the BFA top post, Letshwiti said that the problem with the current administration is that the focus in on the Botswana Premier League (BPL) while grassroots football is being neglected.
“If you vote for me the Premier League which takes 100 percent of the BFA’s time has to be autonomously run. The league must be managed on its own as well as the National First Division so that the association focuses on development,” he said. The local businessman who will take on Sebego in July said football the world over is about development. “If football resources are not developed, it won’t take us anywhere. Football must be an industry that contributes socially and economically to the country.” Letshwiti said the products of football, which are the players, must be able to be exported to other countries. In addition, the presidential hopeful said the sport must be a national project and not just the responsibility of the BFA alone.
“Government has to support football development, the question is whether we have a relationship with government.” Letshwiti added that both men and women’s football must be developed. “Whatever you do for the girl child you must do for the boys and catch them when they are young. If we start now, we will end up somewhere, our world cup winners are the current 5 year olds.” Letshwiti, who insists that football must be run like a corporate entity emphasised the importance of following the BFA constitution. The well-known Mochudi Centre Chiefs financier views football to be a passion and must be predominantly run by former footballers. “We have to bring people who have been role models back to the sport,” he said, adding that the current state of affairs sees administrators using the sport to pass time.
Letshwiti, who derides the practice of NEC members making headlines said he was by no means painting a rosy picture as he knows the road will be initially bumpy. “The BFA is a corporate entity and it must run like one. It is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) that must be regularly seen in newspaper backpages and not the association’s president.” He dispelled fears that he was running for the position on a Mochudi Centre Chiefs ticket, adding that he will step down from his role at the Kgatleng team if elected into office. Meanwhile, Letshwiti also condemned the habit of buying votes. “Buying votes is unethical. This is why football has lost its integrity. Journalists must expose this corruption that is not doing justice to football.”