Mmegi Online :: FIFA office relocates to Joburg
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Last Updated
Tuesday 12 December 2017, 23:51 pm.
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FIFA office relocates to Joburg

FIFA have closed down their regional office in Botswana and moved to Johannesburg, as new president Gianni Infantino continues his reshuffling of the organisation.
By Calistus Kolantsho Wed 11 Jan 2017, 09:21 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: FIFA office relocates to Joburg








Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti told Mmegi Sport yesterday that the relocation of the office is part of FIFA’s restructuring exercise. He said the decision to relocate the office would not affect the way Botswana has been benefiting from FIFA.

“I am not aware of the reasons that motivated FIFA to relocate their office. But I believe they saw it necessary to relocate. We would still be benefiting from the federation,” he said. Letshwiti said the assistance that Botswana has been getting from FIFA had nothing to do with the office being in Gaborone.

Meanwhile, former BFA president Tebogo Sebego said the reduction of FIFA development offices in Africa, from four to two would have an impact on the development of football in the continent.

“Africa in my view needed more of these offices to follow up development programmes in the African continent and ensure that member associations are closely monitored and mentored in the implementation of FIFA projects,” he said.

He said FIFA members need more support to fully utilise these programmes and a closer monitoring remains essential. Sebego argues that the relocation of the development office

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is regressive.

 “The existence of the FIFA office locally meant that there was a direct contact, often physical between our association and FIFA. Some training programmes particularly administrative were less costly because the local office used to send the development officer to undertake these exercises,” he said. Sebego added that local clubs directly benefited from the FIFA resources in Botswana such as the Galaxy Project.

Long-serving FIFA development officer for the Southern African region‚ Ashford Mamelodi is retiring, shortly after his office was taken out from under him. According to information reaching Mmegi Sport, FIFA are looking for a replacement to run affairs from Johannesburg. The regional office in Gaborone was a legacy of the days when Ismail Bhamjee still sat on FIFA’s powerful organising committee and Mamelodi was his faithful lieutenant at the BFA. The pair also launched COSAFA.

Mamelodi had overseen matters in the region for more than a decade and was a popular figure in the footballing community. The development office runs various projects across the region‚ including FIFA’s investment in individual country’s footballing infrastructure in the form of the FIFA GOAL project.

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