Pettiness could trip new BFL CEO

The Botswana Football League (BFL) is due to announce South African, Senzo Mbatha as its new chief executive officer on a one-year deal. Mbatha comes with an impressive reputation after administrative roles in his native country and Tanzania.

The expectation is that Mbatha will wave his magic wand and chart a new path for the BFL. Contrary to overwhelming criticism, the BFL has not been as bad as it has been made to appear. Retaining sponsors was going to be a tall order post COVID-19, and the fact that the league has run almost seamlessly this season, is reason for optimism. It’s all not gloom and doom with news that a new sponsor, Absa Bank, will be unveiled this week. It depends on how you view the BFL glass; for pessimists, its half empty while for optimists, it is definitely half full. It will not be wide off the mark to opine that local football’s problems emanate from a very toxic environment that has bred an unending flow of pettiness. Marking the man and not the ball has become the hallmark of local football politics. Everything is viewed from a point of supposedly existing aisles. It has not been helpful that almost everything and anything football has been politicised.

This is the kind of atmosphere that the new CEO will fly into. He will find mistrust, unhealthy relationships and loads of gas lighting. He will arrive into an environment where the board is frequently at variance, with the recent turn of events highlighting the inevitable breakdown. Like King Midas, Mbatha will be expected to provide the golden touch, but that’s easier said than done. No chief executive will succeed until the toxic working environment is eliminated. How to remove the toxicity is not a module taught at university, and it will take some digging deep for Mbatha, or any other CEO to succeed for that matter.

Editor's Comment
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