The Botswana Football Association (BFA) referees manager, Dintwe Dintwe has denied reports that top local referee Lekgotla Johannes has been removed from the FIFA panel.
He said he was unaware of such a decision, which, if true, would mean Botswana remains with only one referee, Joshua Bondo on the FIFA panel.
Dintwe said he submitted a list of local referees to FIFA as per requirement, but could not reveal their names. He said FIFA has not responded and he is shocked to learn that Johannes has been left out.
He said he could not dwell on speculation as he is waiting for official confirmation of the panel from FIFA.
Dintwe said even if Johannes has been rejected by FIFA, he would still continue officiating locally. He would only be affected internationally where he cannot handle matches.
“The referees list is compiled annually and I wonder why you are making noise about the current one. I compiled the list alone because it is my responsibility,” he said.
Mmegi Sport has been informed that Tshepo Gobagoba has replaced Johannes. The source further said Johannes was not included on the list due to his age, although the whistle man is only 40-years-old.
Contacted for comment, referees committee chairperson, Lesego Leaketsa said he was not aware of the matter. He said he was waiting for tomorrow’s committee meeting to get information from Dintwe. He said it was not possible for him to discuss a matter he was not familiar with.
Johannes said it was still early for him to respond to queries regarding the reports. FIFA has since dropped age restrictions for referees.