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Letshwiti calls for unity

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Unity call: Letshwiti PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) president, Maclean Letshwiti has called on all football stakeholders to work together in harmony for the betterment of the game.

Officially opening the Kgatleng Regional Football Association’s (FA) ‘Operation Time for Change’ training this week in Rasesa, Letshwiti called for an intensified stakeholder management including an adherence to club licensing guidelines, which will ultimately guide the new and professional look of local football.

The five-day FIFA approved, and funded programme dubbed Administration and Management Course for the Kgatleng Regional FA kicked off on Monday and runs until today and is intended to achieve a renewal in terms of how football is managed at all levels throughout the country, facilitated by FIFA instructor and consultant, Ashford Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting.

The objectives of the programme include the empowerment of leaders, both regional structures and clubs, on the management of the game; engaging participants on the importance of stakeholder management, as well as identifying for further training prospective national course instructors in Administration and Management, with a view that once qualified, they will continue to train up and coming Administrators in the Regions on football administration.

The BFA president pleaded with the Kgatleng Regional FA to  work with other stakeholders, and only then will we see the much-needed change in our football.

Letshwiti said as the BFA they saw the need to engage with all regions through the ‘Operation Time For Change’ to better equip everyone with new and modern models of football, which include increasing and managing fanbase, finance, governance, all of which are extremely critical in running a professional club.

“We have to manage our stakeholders and keep them closer; this will give us an opportunity to have a better understanding of how we can all work harmoniously together.

This will in turn help us to accelerate club licensing, in line with the commitment by FIFA to commercialise football. As the BFA, we will provide guidelines on the minimum standards for all football structures and clubs. This will guide our structures on electing suitable individuals into various positions, and only then will our football grow,” said Letshwiti.

He also assured the delegates that football will return soon, adding that they remain hopeful all efforts to bring back the people’s game will be fully supported by government.

For his part, the Kgatleng Regional Football Association (KRFA) chairperson, Thabang Seleke said the training was an opportunity for his region to develop relations with all its stakeholders and equip them with the relevant knowledge regarding the latest skills in running and managing their clubs and football.  Furthermore, Seleke acknowledged the Kgatleng Regional FA for its relentless commitment to the development of football in the region, as evidenced by their passion for the sport. “We have a cordial relationship with the council where they continue to help us with various infrastructure such as roads and playing grounds. Infrastructure plays a critical role

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in the advancement of football, be it grassroots or professional. Quite pleasing is that we also have a new office which is a good start in the right direction,” said Seleke adding that the only appeal is for the BFA to assist them with office equipment.

“This will go a long way in helping us to keep our records safe, which is a critical part of good governance,” said Seleke.

FIFA instructor and consultant, (Ashford) Mamelodi of Mamelodi Consulting said the participants will learn all the basics of football such as having a firm understanding of the ecosystem of football from FIFA, CAF and COSAFA respectively.

“We have to understand football in today’s modern world. We will further go into governance, finance, including management of clubs. Overtime I have emphasised that we must constantly empower our leadership. The common problem across regions has always been who owns the clubs between the registered members and founding members, who in my capacity act as if they are the shareholders. Regions must understand that they are football, and that this is where we need to change, hence this project, ‘Operation Time for Change’. Another great concern is that of compliance. We need to go back to our communities to start our links in football. Stakeholder management is part of our programme and very vital, we need all the leaders such as bogosi, council, schools, and other leaders of our society and that is only when we will see an improvement in our football,” narrated Mamelodi.

The Kgatleng District Council chairperson, Daniel Molokwe said as the council they are committed to facilitating all investments in their district to increase the economic value of football.

“Companies that are in our region must show committed corporate social responsibility (CSR) to football as it is very important in the food chain of any business and society. Furthermore, we must understand that companies that support football want a return on investment (ROI) too, so branding is vital, so they also see value in their investment. We want to see football developing as this will help us produce quality players that can compete with their counterparts anywhere. A case in point, as the region we can be credited for the flair and advertisement of football through our club Mochudi Centre Chiefs over the years, I therefore challenge the investors to also engage our teams to reach their business goals. We commit to support the BFA through president Letshwiti, so we develop community stadia because that is where we nurture and groom all talent,” said Molokwe.

From Kgatleng, the Operation Time for Change programme will call it a wrap in Palapye from May 10 to 14 with the Central/North Regional FA (Serowe). (BFA)



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