Mmegi Blogs :: We are getting our priorities wrong
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Last Updated
Wednesday 19 September 2018, 14:07 pm.
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We are getting our priorities wrong

Little known Equatorial Guinea, which co-hosted the 2012 AFCON finals with Gabon has come to the rescue of the Confederation of African Football by agreeing to organise the 2015 event after Morocco withdrew due to Ebola fears.
By Dennis Keagile Fri 21 Nov 2014, 12:09 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: We are getting our priorities wrong








The irony is that the tiny oil-rich country had been disqualified from the tournament for using an ineligible player. I applaud Equatorial Guinea because they agreed to replace Morocco despite a very short notice. And unlike 2012, they will not be co-hosting. In Botswana, it takes at least six years to construct a new stadium or to renovate one. Botswana has consistently spurned opportunities to build world class or internationally accepted stadia that could give the country a competitive advantage in bidding for hosting rights.

Instead countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea have stolen the thunder and no wonder, they have a lot of their nationals plying their trade in Europe and bringing in much-needed foreign cash. The political will and foresight is still lacking in Botswana to the detriment of the overall growth of the game. Botswana has enough money to host and build first class stadia if we get our priorities right.

The alcohol levy is contributing a lot of money to state coffers and part of these proceeds should be channeled to sport. This should be easy because sport is now an alternative form of employment. The funds should be channeled towards grass root development and infrastructure building. Our Premier League  and all the major sports in the country are still largely financed by individuals. This, however is not sustainable hence growth and excellence are not consistent.

The 1997 soccer group that comprised the likes of Diphetogo ‘Dipsy’ Selolwane, Seabo ‘Seabee’ Gabanakgosi, Derik Malunga, Tshepiso ‘Sox’ Molwantwa, Masego ‘Abedi’ Nchingane, Agisanyang ‘Barcos’ Mosimanegape, Edwin ‘Cellular’ Disang  and Desmond Hambira just to mention a few have now retired.

 The Mogogi Gabonamong group is equally nowhere to be seen. In fact we are now on a trial and error as far as real grass root development is concerned simply because we are mixing up our priorities or misdirecting our resources, sometime for short political mileage.

For Equatorial Guinea to step up to the plate at the last moment to rescue the rest of Africa says a lot. Botswana therefore ought to have a timetable and frame work when it thinks it can have the needed facilities to host a major event so as to fast track sports development.

Already indications are that the people of Maun are starved of sports activities if attendance at Premier League games and the Mascom horse racing are anything to go by.

Maun therefore ought to be turned into a major sporting hub as this will boost the tourism industry in the area. The area seems to have a vibrant night-life and entertainment industry.

 

AFCON 2015

What a pity that defending champions, Nigeria will not be in Equatorial Guinea. Nigeria paid a

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heavy price for the false start in the group qualifying stages when it fell 3-2 at home to Congo-Brazzaville and then lost 1-0 away to Sudan. This was the final nail on its quest to qualify for the finals and as can be expected of the Nigerian Football Association, its house was not in order as it was not clear whether coach Steven Keshi was staying or going.

The revelation for me however was Cameroon, which showed that there is life after Samuel Eto’o. Cameroon has been in devastating form contrary to its performance at this year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Egypt, another powerhouse which has won the tournament a record seven times will again be missing in action. The rebuilding process for the Pharaohs has taken longer than many expected. The Pharaohs could neither beat Senegal nor Tunisia at home, a thing previously unheard of. Only Botswana donated points to all opponents.

As for the Zebras, more work lies ahead and for a change, we should avoid challenging the likes of Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland in build-up matches. We ought to challenge teams that can really expose and gives us competition.  There was a marked difference between the Zebras performance in the preliminaries and the group stages. Unfortunately, people are spending too much time fighting each other and losing focus on the core job.

 

Babitseng

I read with some disappointment statements attributed to the suspended Botswana Football Association vice president in charge of administration that he is a target of a witch-hunt by some of his colleagues at Lekidi. It is not clear what the witch-hunt is for, especially that he and the other colleagues were all elected in July and they do different jobs. I do not know if the witch-hunt is being conducted by his subordinates at the secretariat, which is very unlikely or strange.

The bottom line is that as the head of delegation, all were under his supervision and he will have to be accountable. He should not try to plead innocence or that he had no authority unless he was not head of delegation. And why would the Botswana National Sports Council really have a bone to chew with him? With the BFA CEO on leave and the vice president administration suspended, life must be tough for the association.

But some of these things could have been avoided. For long, I have always decried the idea of block voting because it tends to leave some good people out simply because they are not aligned to any faction or the faction they belong to would have lost. The sport is actually short-changing itself and the faction leaders ought to look into this.

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