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Chess official claims sabotage

Staff Writer
Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) executive committee additional member, Alex Mpuisang has accused colleagues of sabotage following his recent trip to Russia for the Olympiad.

Mpuisang said some federation members have always mistreated him, and things came to a head after the trip to Russia.

He said he had to force the federation to buy him an air ticket to travel to the former Soviet Union. Mpuisang said he had been invited to officiate at the Olympiad by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and felt that the BCF was supposed to provide necessary requirements. He said FIDE was sponsoring the trip but was only going to provide funds when he got to Russia, which meant he had to buy his ticket. He was further frustrated when upon return from the Olympiad, nothing was mentioned about his achievement in the media. The official said the BCF has failed to recognise him despite being the first Motswana to officiate at the Olympiad.

"Instead the president Tshepo Sitale comes and talks about being voted president on television (ignoring my achievement)," Mpuisang said. Mpuisang said BCF officials tend to doubt his competence despite his contribution to chess. "I went to Russia and people there appreciated my performance," Mpuisang said.

But Sitale dismissed the allegations as 'lies'. "We do not decide what should be written in the

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media. If anything he should be complaining to the media that he was not covered," Sitale said. He wondered why Mpuisang decided to complain through the media when he is in the BCF executive committee. "I am not an editor; I do not suggest to the media what they should print. If they spoke or wrote something about me it was their choice," Sitale said.  He said Mpuisang should tell the whole story.

"He was not there when the team to Russia was announced, ask him why," said Sitale without going into the details. "Ask him why he was not given money by FIDE in advance. It is because he was given money in the last Olympiad and he did not go there." 

Sitale said it was difficult for the BCF to request the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) to buy Mpuisang a ticket since the trip was fully sponsored by FIDE.

Mpuisang explained that he failed to attend the last Olympiad in Germany in 2006 because he got his visa late when the team had already left.

"FIDE understood my situation, that is why they did not have a problem sponsoring me again," Mpuisang said.



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