BFA, BNSC need to smoke peace pipe
Thursday, 12 July, 2012The cold war between the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) continues to rage on. The two associations need to sit together and iron out their differences behind closed doors, and not in the media like they have been doing.
There has always been a love–hate relationship between the two associations and the last stroke came a few months back when the BNSC announced on national TV that they will immediately withhold funding to the Botswana Football Association as they were not happy with how some things were being done at the football association. At the time, because of the circumstances at the time and what was prevailing at the time, the decision seemed justified, at least to everyone except of course the BFA NEC. Everyone else ululated and welcomed the decision. This was mainly because at the time the decision was announced, there were murmurs of discontent and insinuations of misuse of funds on the part of the BFA. The players had boycotted the national team due to the ever recurring bonus issue and there were allegations of misuse of funds by the BFA. Based on that, the decision seemed justifiable. I for one thought the BNSC had made the right decision. That was until the BFA set the record straight and revealed some interesting events and twists. As the BNSC had made their statement on the BFA through the media, the BFA top brass resorted to the same and called a press conference to set the record straight, albeit a little too late. After hearing what BFA’s David Fani had to say, I thought to myself, maybe these two associations could have atleast sat down first before embarking on these back and forth statements attacking each other in the media. That would have been a good starting point.
At the press conference, Fani did not mince his words saying he suspected something sinister in the BNSC move to withhold funding to his association. What could have Fani been thinking? What could the BNSC be up to? Fani is actually accusing the BNSC of undermining him and his leadership. He says the BFA has done nothing wrong for the BNSC to have taken such a decision. Fani said in the letter that the BNSC sent to them, they had satisfied all the misgivings that the BNSC had raised and stated as the reasons for the decision. He added that, ‘he was shocked and disappointed at the BNSC’s decision’. Apparently the BFA has never failed to submit their audited financials to the BNSC, and Fani wondered how such a decision was made when they have always submitted audited financials every financial year. I asked myself why Fani had to take a few months to set the record straight and try and absolve himself and his NEC of any wrongdoing. Why didn’t he come out and tell us all this immediately when the BNSC made the pronouncement on national television. But then I remembered that there is the BFA General assembly at the end of the month, so Fani and his committee want to be absolved of any wrongdoing before the elective Assembly.
It has also been revealed by the BFA that after all has been looked at in the BFA finances, it is actually the BNSC that owes the BFA about P1.3 million. Well, well, well, I did not anticipate such a development. Once again it got me thinking. Well this is how that figure came about. The BFA says they had long asked for some assistance from the BNSC when the National team was preparing for the AFCON Finals and the BNSC was slow to assist, and the BFA could not just fold its arms and wait on the BNSC to assist, thus they moved monies around in their votes, resulting is some votes being exhausted. All this was apparently communicated with the BNSC and the BNSC is aware of that. Again, why did the BNSC take the decision disregarding such, when in actual fact they knew why the BFA was in the red?
The two associations have been speaking out of turn, with one saying this about the other, and the other one saying this about the other. The BNSC is saying there is no accountability at the BFA and on the other hand, the BFA is blaming the BNSC for some of the mess they are in. Personally, I feel the BNSC jumped the gun and just went along with the public outcry and took an ill-informed, ill-timed decision based on public perceptions. They could have maybe sorted out some of these issues with the BFA first without taking such a drastic step. I am not for one second saying there is no wrongdoing on the part of the BFA. I for one feel that the two associations should have sat down and tried to iron out some issues before the pronouncement. The decision to withhold BFA funding means that the BFA Secretariat and indeed leadership has been rendered useless as all transactions, even for the purchase of a mere toilet paper, are to be sanctioned at the BNSC offices. Funny but true.
The bottom line is that the two associations will forever rely on each other and the sooner they sort themselves out and work together amicably, and not attack each other in the media, the better. They need to sit and sort out their differences. As things stand at the moment, the BNSC has stuck to its guns and we all await with baited breath to see whether the BNSC will go back on their decision and absolve the BFA of any wrongdoing as the BFA wishes.