Football mess, a ticking time bomb

Like a ticking time bomb Botswana football is not far from exploding, but the sooner the bomb is detonated the better.

The image of the game at organisational or leadership level has taken a major battering and a swift turnaround is needed.

The Premier League, which is the bedrock of the game is having a leadership crisis and the sooner that is stopped the better lest other opportunistic elements creep in or take advantage.

Adding salt to the entire debacle is the dismal performance of the Zebras. As for the youth system it has been completely forgotten. The Premier League is suffering from an acute shortage of leadership and as such has become a captive of its own constitution.


Yes rules, regulations and the constitution are meant to guide us and bind all, but should not be anathema to good governance and development. The league has once more chosen an interim chairperson following the unceremonious resignation of Arnold Somolekae together with his vice Monnakgotla Mojaki.

By a strange twist of fate the last three chairpersons for the league have all come from Notwane. At one time, there was Segolame Ramotlhwa who did not finish his term as Kealeboga Mogapi took over.  Mogapi left unceremoniously following his ownership debacle with the club.

Then once more Mokganedi Mike Molefhe came to the rescue, but the relegation of his club Uniao Flamingo Santos to the First Division meant that he could not continue and in came Somolekae but likewise he has left before he could finish his term.

Surely such a huge turn over of senior leadership cannot be good for the game and a permanent solution lies in fixing the rules which denies anybody who is not a club chairperson to be elected chairperson of the management committee.  I know that this set up was copied from South Africa, but Botswana failed to adapt it to her own environment. In South Africa club ownership is a serious business and unlike here, the rules and regulations are clear as the league is independent from the association in its set up.

The one-size-fits-all rules do not apply. In South Africa, there is a clear distinction between the professional league and the amateur league. Botswana only copied the methodology but did not look at its own environment.

It therefore remains to be seen if the league can entangle itself from the web. These endless turn over of leadership means that the constitution and rules have to be changed to allow for someone outside the Premier League to serve as chairman. At the moment, the league is going right round in circles with no stability and chances are that other stakeholders will be disadvantaged or short changed.

Some investors might consider their stay in the relationship with the game if it takes ages to see some returns on their investment. The game should be attractive not only on the field of play but even off the pitch.  In the last election, which ushered in Somolekae and his team it was obvious that the league was badly divided and voting was not based on merit, but on factional tendencies. The league has to fix this when it meets over the weekend.

 

Zebras

The writing has long been on the wall that coach Peter James Butler is still wet behind the ears as far as coaching national teams is concerned. In his  first interview, he shocked some of us by indirectly attacking the style of the previous coach, Stanley Tshosane when he said he was not going to pack the bus, but play attacking and entertaining soccer.

That was even before he saw the players. Ever since his appointment, Butler has been a controversial coach who is quick to talk or attack others especially players in the media.

There is a rule in football that when you have a young and inexperienced team, you need to have a well-experienced coach. The Zebras have neither. The coach is on a learning curve and so are the players. As a result, there is no consistency.

The fact that he can even call a person who is not even a regular shows exactly the confusion. At senior level it is not about development but delivery. It is about getting the best 18 players in the country and recognising those players.

Butler has a tendency to contradict or somersault on some of his words. After fighting hard to have Keitumetse  ‘Pio’ Paul as his assistant because he believed he was the right person, he was to turn around and compete with him and declaring that he does not miss the outspoken Paul. At best, he would be well suited to be a development or youth coach.

It would have been nice to have a different squad for the CHAN competition. This is where we could see the likes of Lesego Galenamotlhale and others. Ability and not age should be the criteria.

Green Lovers

Congratulations to the Serowe-based Green Lovers for their promotion to the elite league. As first timers, the going is not going to be easy and the club ought to work extra hard, otherwise it will be a one way ticket back to the First Division.But at least Serowe will be busy in the 2015/16 season. My only fear is that the Serowe Sports Complex will be over used resulting in the dilapidation of the pitch. A good management system is needed to keep the pitch well maintained but otherwise the youthful side should enjoy the ride. Good luck.

Editor's Comment
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