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Head-to-head: Sebego and Letshwiti are the frontrunners
Head-to-head: Sebego and Letshwiti are the frontrunners

Despite the suspension of activities due to the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), football still has a massive match in its hands on August 8.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) returns to the polls to elect a new committee as president, Maclean Letshwiti’s four-year tenure comes to an end.

It will be a replay of the 2016 battle of the presidency, as the incumbent faces his predecessor, Tebogo Sebego. Ookeditse Malesu and Solomon Mantswe could add an exciting tilt to the race, although they remain dark horses.

Mantswe was in the hat in 2016, but lost in the first round, as Letshwiti and Sebego squared up in a closely contested run-off.

Malesu briefly served as BFA chief executive officer under the Letshwiti administration.

But it is Letshwiti and Sebego who are regarded as the strong contenders, as the battle for football’s top post takes early shape.

Both camps have lost trusted lieutenants, with Sebego’s Friends of Football now minus Masego Ntshingane who has jumped ship and joined the Letshwiti bandwagon.

Letshwiti has lost Sinki Sesinyi, while Eatametse Olopeng is not contesting. Segolame Ramotlhwa, who was second vice president, fell out of favour and was replaced by Ntshingane.

This week, a five-member elections committee was unveiled, marking a significant step towards the polls.

The committee, chaired by Moemedi Letina, announced invitation of candidates opens on Monday and closes on June 19.

The committee is tasked with vetting the candidates, and towards the end of the month, the football family would know the composition of the contesting camps.

Sebego said he was still putting together his team, and said Friends of Football are much more stronger and organised than in 2016.

The Notwane president has in the past decried what he saw as a purge of his loyalists from the region.

“I am standing for elections, (am) about to complete my team. We are still working on our key deliverables. The proposed team will meet all the BFA requirements,” Sebego said.

“I am happy that the Elections Committee has taken control of the process and have a clear roadmap. Elections must have complete independence from any structure. I am happy that the nominations will be received and vetted independently by them.”

While the contest’s whistle to signal the start of the race would officially be blown after the vetting, campaigns are at full throttle across the regions.

The Letshwiti camp reportedly faces a headache for the second vice president post, with incumbent, Ntshingane and Francistown region chairperson, Moakaneng Bontshetse both interested.

Sources said Bontshetse is unwilling to yield, and might go solo if there is no resolution, as Ntshingane, a former foe, is seen as Letshwiti’s blue-eyed boy. Bontshetse and Fobby Radipotsane, linked with one of the additional members post, have over the years, been regarded as kingmakers in the BFA contests.

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