BFA’s Taylor facing charges of careless spending

  • FIFA seconds two to help probe the matter

Gazette Reporter

A crucial few months lie ahead for the Botswana Football Association (BFA). This follows recent revelations that the organisation at the helm of management of Botswana football was P8.8million in the red mainly because of diversion of funds that includes money from FIFA.

This week, the Chief Executive Officer of the BFA, Goabaone Taylor, was being hauled over the coals on three issues.

In the first instance, Taylor is accused of carelessly spending FIFA project funds amounting to P6 million between April and December last year.

The organisation was reportedly broke, yet Taylor – without authorisation of the BFA’s National Executive Committee (NEC) – allegedly dipped into FIFA funds meant for projects to finance BFA operations. These included payment of salaries, but the bulk of the money reportedly went to funding activities of the national women’s team.

In the second instance, Taylor is accused of authorising financial activities outside the BFA’s budget which saw the football body accumulate a P2.8million deficit. The amount is outside the budget approved by the BFA general assembly.

On Friday, a day after the initial hearing was due to start, Taylor was slapped with a fresh charge. She is accused of acting in a disorderly manner at the National Stadium during an Orange FA Cup tie on December 4. According to the BFA, Taylor’s behaviour brought its name into disrepute.

Taylor has remained tight-lipped, saying only that the case is before a disciplinary committee and she is therefore unable to talk to the media.

The disciplinary committee is headed by former football administrator, Leviet Ntwaagae.

FIFA is aware of the financial mess at the BFA after its president, Maclean Letshwiti, alerted the world mother body about the financial transgressions.

FIFA recently sent two-man delegation to probe the matter. Solomon Mudge and former BFA president David Fani, who is now FIFA development officer, were in the country to investigate the issue.

A preliminary report indicates that the money was not embezzled but was instead diverted to unintended purposes. Letshwiti confirmed this to the media recently.

However, a report will be submitted to FIFA for further scrutiny by an audit unit. Reports are that a FIFA delegation will return in April for an overall audit of the BFA to determine if there are proper accounting systems in place.

After reports of misuse of funds surfaced, pressure is on BFA vice president finance, Marshlow Motlogelwa. Sources say he could be forced to resign, depending on the outcome of Taylor’s hearing and the FIFA report.

Taylor’s future also hangs by a thread, although her sympathisers argue that she is being made a scapegoat.

While the CEO’s hearing is on at Lekidi Centre, Letshwiti has flown out to Cameroon where he will watch the semi-finals and the finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Sports minister Tumiso Rakgare and Botswana Football League (BFL) chairman Nicholas Zakhem are expected to join him.