In what appears to be political bickering between Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC), this week the former moved quickly to clear their name from alleged misuse of funds. This followed a decision by the BNSC to suspend the release of the 2012/13 grant to the BFA early this year. The apparent boardroom bickering between the football body and the national umbrella sports body has been ongoing for months. This week the BFA announced that they took time to collect facts before addressing the media on the prevailing issues.
Through a letter to the football body dated 28th May 2012, the BNSC took the decision to suspend the release of the funds after claiming that the BFA failed to meet them and discuss accounting for funds disbursed during the 2011/12 financial year. Over and above this, the BNSC faulted the BFA for non-delivery of implementation plans for the AFCON 2012 and World Cup 2014 on 1st of June 2012, as well as for failure to conclude the recruitment process of the national team coach. The BFA president David Fani said the BNSC stated in their letter that the suspension of the of the 2012/13 grant would continue until such time that BFA had normalised all its operations. Fani said the BFA National Executive Committee (NEC) was shocked and disappointed to receive the letter from the BNSC, “for the simple reason that the situation did not warrant the decision taken by the BNSC.’’ A seemingly frustrated Fani said both the BNSC and the BFA office were in consultation with each other over the matter.
The BFA president was of the view that the two parties had agreed to jointly reconcile figures to complete the accounting. “This joint reconciliation was a necessary step based on the fact that, while some payments were made at the BFA office, BNSC also made payments directly to suppliers,” he said. Fani is of the view that it was impossible to complete any accounting without the involvement of the BNSC. However, the BFA announced that they have since reconciled files between them and the BNSC at the end of May. The reconciliation is said to have entailed the examination of vouchers and other supporting documents. “It should be noted that, besides reconciling files and documentation, the reconciliation has revealed, among other things, that the BNSC owes the BFA a sum of P1.3 million for items the BFA had requested but were not paid by the BNSC,” Fani said.
He added that BFA as the consumer had to pay for items using funds meant for other things to avoid suppliers taking action against them. At the end of May, the BNSC made the well-publicised statement of withholding funds meant for the BFA, a move that sent shockwaves across the sporting fraternity as it was unprecedented. The BNSC has since been quiet on the matter, with reports that they had become alive to their blunder which they did not want to admit publicly. It is for this reason that the BFA moved to clear their name, especially for the sake of the association’s president who was made to look like a failure.