Former president, Ian Khama and his brother, find themselves at the opposite end of a potentially damaging Botswana Football Association (BFA) feud.
The ex-president is the BFA patron while Tshekedi Khama is the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development.
Ever since he took office in February, Khama has made it clear that he is unhappy at the way BFA conducts its business.
He has gone to the extent of writing letters to FIFA, seeking “clarity of BFA’s obligations”. This week, Khama confirmed to Mmegi Sport that he had written to FIFA regarding the local body’s obligations, but was yet to receive a response. BFA president, Maclean Letshwiti said it was unfortunate if indeed the minister had written to FIFA, which might leave the country facing dire consequences.
“If it is true that the minister has written to FIFA, I am confident FIFA will act in a manner that will not promote or condone government interference,” Letshwiti said. FIFA bars government interference in football, and transgressing members have been slapped with a suspension.
But the minister, according to sources, argues, the local mother body receives funding from the government, and therefore, must be subjected to scrutiny.
Letshwiti said the former president, as patron, has not yet been briefed about the latest developments. The relationship between the minister and BFA never got going from day one, and it has only gotten worse.
Khama accused the association of unfairly terminating the contract of local clothing brand, All Kasi, in favour of South Africa-based, Umbro.
The local coaches association approached the minister with a litany of accusations against the BFA, chiefly, that they were not afforded opportunities.
Khama promised to engage with the BFA, but it appears talks did not proceed as expected. The minister has since, twice written to FIFA, but the world governing body is yet to respond. Letshwiti said the BFA is available to meet the minister and address any nagging issues.
“The BFA continues to be available to meet with the minister to address or resolve outstanding issues, but as indicated before, we shall not do so through the media,” Letshwiti said. “At best, once all issues have been addressed and resolved, and at the invitation of the minister, we will address the media, not before.
I think it is premature to suggest that we have failed to reach common ground and discussions are incomplete,” he added.
However, FIFA has thus far ignored the minister’s enquiries, amid fears that they might attract the wrath of the world’s soccer body.