Letshwiti must hit the ground running

Legwatagwata Kheme - BG Correspondent
Monday, 22 August 2016
Letshwiti must hit the ground running

The former Botswana Football Association (BFA) president Tebego Sebego has said he is still very much involved in football following his crushing defeat to Maclean Letshwiti in the recent Annual General Assembly. 

However, the 42-year-old slick dressing Gaborone lawyer is still very much a player in both domestic and international football structures despite his exit from Lekidi. In a brief interview, the vanquished Sebego said he was not lost to football but remains an avid supporter of the beautiful game.

Sebego acknowledged that it is now time to give the new leadership the space to lead the association. “I am going to sit down and see what to do next. The least I can do is be a football supporter,” Sebego said   this week. “I want to contribute to the growth of football both locally and internationally.”  Despite a crushing defeat Sebego still serves in the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) standing committee mandated to organise the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals from 2015 to 2017. The former president also serves in FIFA’s marketing and television arm.

Sebego, who ascended to the BFA presidency with his ‘Friends of Football’ cabal, served the BFA for the past decade rising through the ranks as the association’s legal advisor. Back then he was a legal advisor for former BFA presidents, David Fani and Philip Makgalemele. Prior to Fani courting him to be the association’s legal think tank he was the legal advisor for Botswana Soccer Association (BOSA), a soccer movement made up of premier league community teams.

The BOSA was mandated to address the plight of community teams that complained about rival state-backed institutional teams that dominated the league. While a BFA lawyer, Sebego challenged the then BFA president David Fani and delivered a crushing defeat on his more experienced rival. However, four years down the line, Sebego whose administration has been under fire for the better part of his presidency, suffered a similar fate at the hands of rival and self-made businessman Maclean Letshwiti.

When Letshwiti announced he was running for BFA president over a month ago, it became evident that the contest would be a bare-knuckled fight. Sebego’s conqueror is a relatively newcomer to football administration at the highest level. The intriguing BFA presidential elections saw Letshwiti defeating his archrival by 32 votes to 28.

One of the key challenges Letshwiti faces is how to deal with the warring factions in the BFA National Executive Committee, which seemed to swirl under Sebego, in the process alienating the association from sponsors and other stakeholders. Letshwiti’s   committee has its job cut in the next four years.

Besides rebuilding the BFA, Letshwiti has to improve the functionality of the association’s structures. A case in point being the recent Mascom Top 8 final where BPL teams complained about Township Rollers’ use of a defaulter but were snubbed by the mother-body.
Other nagging issues that Letshwiti’s committee inherit include the controversial leaguewhich is taking forever to conclude considering that the football fraternity still awaits the verdict in Township Rollers’ appeal to CAS regarding their docked points, which were awarded to Gilport Lions after they had used a defaulter Ofentse Nato.

Letshwiti will also need to foster continuity in both junior and national teams. In the past there has been no cohesion or synergy between junior national teams and senior national teams.  A case in point was the under 17 team which qualified for 2013 under 17 African youth championships in Morocco.

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