Tswapong region football administrator, Fobby Radipotsane has urged new minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama to tread cautiously on Botswana Football Association (BFA) issues.
Khama recently expressed concerns over how the BFA is run, raising several concerns.
However, Radipotsane, a kingmaker in the BFA politics, cautioned Khama, and said he must tread carefully on the association’s matters. “It is simple, the minister must not attack BFA because they are mere messengers. Clubs are struggling, and that’s what the minister must check on the ground,” Radipotsane said.
“Clubs are not paying players and it is difficult to have a national team. Regional football faces a crisis of grounds and there are no qualified coaches.”
Radipotsane said teams travel a lot, but there are no government subsidies to help the sides.
“The minister must benchmark how it is done in other countries. He should take along with him all the presidents of national sport associations. That is where he should start.”
Radipotsane added that all clubs at the top tier in different sporting codes should be able to employ and pay players’ salaries, as a way of reducing unemployment.
“You cannot talk when you do not know what is happening on the ground. The problem is not BFA, but us (as clubs). The BFA committee is elected today and tomorrow they are not in office,” Radipotsane said.
“Even if we remove Letshwiti and bring back Sebego, nothing will change as long as the status quo remains. There are no structures because there is no funding,” he added.
He said the minister should not rely on hearsay, but get first hand information, through interacting with the presidents of different sport codes. Khama was particularly scathing on BFA in an interview with Mmegi Sport a fortnight ago, saying he was not pleased with their modus operandi.
He said local coaches had reported that their relationship with BFA was strained over recruitment, while All Kasi had complained of being elbowed out in favour of UK brand, Umbro.
The BFA responded last week, saying it will find appropriate channels to engage the minister, but emphasised that the government could not dictate who the association employs.