The Botswana Football Association (BFA) President David Fani has apologised for the administrative blunder that locked the country's junior teams out of African soccer competitions.
Botswana will not participate in the Under-17 and Under-20 competitions because the BFA failed to submit registration forms to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in time. Fani told the biennial BFA general assembly in Gaborone on Saturday that an official of the association is responsible for the blunder. "
We failed to register our national Under-17 and Under-20 for their respective CAF competitions. In July last year, we received invitations from CAF to register, but we regret to tell this assembly that the registration forms were not signed by the Chief Executive Officer and forwarded to the CAF headquarters," Fani said. However, the association was able to register the national Under-23 side for CAF competitions.
Fani said the BFA agreed that the Under-23 side should be kept as a permanent team to be used as a second national team. He explained that the move will require more resources.
The team will be playing in qualification matches for the 2012 London Olympics.
Fani said that the BFA is finalising a proposal and costs for hosting the 2015 African Cup of Nations (AFCON). He said they are, however, aware of the challenges and shortcomings faced by the association and they will require some commitment from the government to succeed in the bid. He briefed the assembly on efforts to solicit sponsorship saying they will keep working hard until every organ of the BFA has a sponsor.
He advised the delegates that securing sponsors alone cannot take the sport forward unless it is complemented by improvements starting from club and regional levels. He said negotiations are at an advanced stage with a local company to sponsor the First Division League. They are still talking about the company's request that the First Division games should be broadcast on TV and radio.
Fani took a swipe at former BFA vice-president (administration), Segolame Ramotlhwa, who was seeking re-election, resigned last year citing factionalism. He accused Ramotlhwa of dragging the name of soccer in the mud. "He resigned from his position last year citing factions, but in the executive committee, we do not believe in such things as factions.
We do have lobby groups, difference of opinion by members, and we therefore did not believe in the allegations made by Ramothwa," Fani said. "It is not good if you leave and start dragging the name of the association in the mud. My name has been dragged enough in the mud and I do not want to see the sport (soccer) going through what I went through," he said.
The delegates questioned Fani on his attack on Ramotlhwa in his presence saying it would not solve the factionalism in the association, but will cause further divisions.
They demanded an explanation on the delay in the appointment of officials when it is known in advance that their terms were coming to an end.
The southern region football association raised concerns on the criteria used for selecting national team managers.
The Boteti region demanded an explanation on why Under-23 coach Kenneth Mogae is being overworked. He is currently coach of Boteti Young Fighters and the national Under-23 side besides being assistant to Stanley Tshosane at the national team.