• The maverick administrator enjoys express support all round
  • Vows to bring spectators back to stadia
  • Says there may be something to learn from Sunday football afterall
  • Wagers it may not be such a good idea to have BFL run concurrently with the English Premier League




Botswana Football League (BFL) has roped in South Africa’s Senzo Mbatha as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) following the departure of Solomon Ramochotlhwane late last year.


Mbatha has been appointed for a period of one year with the option of renewal by six months.


This was revealed by the Chairman of the BFL Board, Nicholas Zakhem, at Lekidi Football Centre in Gaborone yesterday.


Greater heights


Outlining some of Mbatha’s assigned deliverables, Zakhem said he will be responsible for the recruitment process for a local CEO who will steer the organisation to greater heights.


“We are more than delighted to work with Mbatha who will guide us on the way forward,” Zakhem said. “His appointment comes at a time when the league needs growth in all aspects.


“He has a solid background in football matters and will drive the BFL ship to calmer waters. That one I am so confident about.”


For his part, the newly appointed CEO committed himself to improving the standard of Botswana football, saying it will not be a simple task but he intends to leave a vibrant office behind.


“I am delighted to be a part of this project and I appreciate the BFL leadership for entrusting me with this task,” Mbatha said. “This is something that will not happen overnight, but I am committed to the course and am ready to commercialise and professionalise the league.”


Proper leadership


The former CEO of Simba and Young Africa football clubs in Tanzania said even though Botswana is a relatively small nation, it can learn from countries like Iceland and dream big.


“We have to ensure that we have proper leadership and good management teams in order to take our football to the next level,” Mbatha asserted.


He promised to find new ways to bring back supporters to stadia, saying it has become clear that Sunday football is slowly taking over mainstream football.


“Maybe we could have an arrangement with Sunday soccer teams and perhaps also look into our fixtures so that they do not clash with big leagues such as the English Premier league,” Mbatha said.


With the reputation of a maverick administrator, Senzo Mbatha quit Tanzanian giants Young Africans just weeks after celebrating the treble last year he was eager to return home after three years in the East African country.


Three trophies


The former Orlando Pirates administrator initially joined Simba as the club’s CEO in 2019. After winning two major trophies with Wekundu Wa Msimbazi, he crossed the floor to join their bitter rivals, Young Africans.


At the time, Yanga had just started a rebuilding process, which recently culminated in three trophies.


The CEO of Botswana Football Association, Mfolo Mfolo, has welcomed the appointment of Mbatha and expressed his confidence that the South African will deliver on his mandate.


“We are happy for BFL to have gone out to appoint the right person who has a rich background in football,” Mfolo said.