Botswana Football Association President, Tebogo Sebego’s decision to set up an awards ceremony for regional football administrators has been met with widespread criticism. Many have questioned the timing of the awards ceremony which is expected to take place on the eve of the association’s Annual General Assembly this Saturday.
The prize giving ceremony is scheduled to take place at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology’s multipurpose hall on Friday evening. This publication has established that 17 regional administrators have been nominated, with 10 of the nominated officials to be awarded for their service to local football. The idea of awarding long serving administrators was discussed and approved at a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
Critics have accused Sebego of organizing the ceremony in order to influence regional administrators to vote for candidates backed by the BFA president.
“It is a good initiative but the timing of the event is questionable. It is well documented that the BFA has its fair share of financial troubles. Last week the national under 17 team almost failed to travel to Zambia for the 2015 CAF under 17 Championship Qualifiers. They were only given the green light at the last minute because the BFA had stated that getting funds for the trip was a challenge but they are quick to organize a ceremony which will surely cost a lot of money. They know that they could benefit from it if the election results go their way,” the critics stated.
“This is the first time a prize giving idea has cropped up and it is not a coincidence that the elections will take place a day later, this was planned. One interesting thing is that the Women’s Football Committee will not be a part of the festivities. None of them have been nominated. I believe they were not even invited for the event, there is no transparency in this prize giving initiative because they have ulterior motives for such an event,” the critics added.
A Sebego advocate dispelled the notion that the BFA leader is trying to influence the outcome of the elections saying ,“People are misinformed if they believe that this is a campaign strategy. I do not see anything wrong if the President awards administrators. This should be regarded as a Presidential token, something similar to the BNSC’s Chairman’s Award. The BFA President has been planning to award people for a long time but circumstances delayed this from happening.”
This publication also established that the awards ceremony was an idea conceived by Sebego in his presidential campaign. Reached for comment Sebego said, “The Friends of Football manifesto stated that one of the ideas we wanted to introduce was to honour servants of local football. I am starting to implement the idea. This was supposed to be a formal event but time constraints have prevented it from being launched. Initially the award recipients were supposed to be given their accolades at the convention but the fact that we do not have a morning session for the General Assembly forced us to set up the awards for Friday. This will be an annual event from now onwards.”
The BFA assembly will take place on the same day as the Botswana National Sports Council’s assembly in Kanye. The BNSC event will take place in the morning while the BFA’s assembly will start at 2pm.