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Ntshingane knocks at the door of football’s top job

MQONDISI DUBE
Going up: Ntshingane has firmly established himself as a favourite for the top job in future PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
He chooses to remain modest amid swelling expectations. A thorough bred footballer who is mellowing into a fine administrator, Masego Ntshingane appears destined for his place in the sun, observes Staff Writer, MQONDISI DUBE

Masego Ntshingane was part of a great Zebras side that gained countrywide fame through unrelenting impressive displays.

The side, led by Serbian Jelusic Veselin was the darling of a success-starved nation, with Ntshingane as one of the conductors of the Zebras’ orchestra.

A sprightly midfielder, Ntshingane possessed a disciplined but deadly left foot. As a player he maintained civility, a characteristic that still defines him up to date.

His background in the army has instilled discipline in him, and this has shone in his early years of football administration.

Ntshingane had intimated that one day, he would lead football, and that appears closer with each passing Botswana Football Association (BFA) election. His knock on the doors of power is growing louder.

In 2016, Ntshingane made the first noticeable stride towards football administration when he was voted in as additional member.

When Segolame Ramotlhwa left his post as second BFA vice president in 2018, Ntshingane’s rise to the top was accelerated. He was thrust into the position on an acting capacity, and only last Saturday, he made the position his own, after defeating his challengers.

His journey of a thousand miles had more than just the first step.

Ntshingane is coy about his ambitions despite evident progress.

The former Mogoditshane Fighters and BDF XI midfielder is unwittingly ever so close to football’s top post. His boss, Maclean Letshwiti, is not expected to seek another term beyond 2024. Tebogo Sebego indicated his desire to hand over to fresh blood after two unsuccessful attempts to get back to Lekidi Centre.

This could swing the door wide open for Ntshingane to ‘walk’ into football’s most sought after post.

Ntshingane was coy when asked about his ambition. He chose to remain gracious in

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victory, emphasising the need to embrace all football people regardless of the outcome of the weekend election.

“The elections are still fresh in our minds and I think the sooner we forget about them the better. We will not rest until even a common fan is convinced BFA is improving. We are well aware of that. Remember as the president (Letshwiti) said in his acceptance speech, we mainly concentrated on off field issues by coming up with sustainable plans and governance issues. We are now moving inside the field where football lovers will be in a position to see,” Ntshingane said. He said at the moment, his eyes are on growing football and he does not want to think too far ahead.

“You know it is worrying that we cannot help elevate football in Botswana to be at least a quarter of what South Africa is while they are just 200km away. I think we have a good chance this coming four years and we need everybody pulling together. (The year) 2024 is just too far.”

He acknowledged that there are some issues that need to be fixed in football.

“Although there was a clear protest from some quarters of the delegates, I think the majority trust we can implement and develop football further. The continuity we preached was well received and we have to reward our people’s trust in us. I take this as a team effort, there is no ‘me’ anymore. The programmes we had at BFA technical is from all us. For the first time, a new batch of A licence holders will be graduating. We have a robust four-year sustainable youth development plan,” he said.



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