Ralebala vows to put past behind

Quit: Boardroom issues pushed out Ralebala
Quit: Boardroom issues pushed out Ralebala

Former Botswana Football League (BFL) board chairperson, Aryl Ralebala has said he is willing to put the past behind and work with anyone so that local football can reach greater heights. Ralebala, who also owns the newly Premier League rookies Masitaoka, resigned from his position at BFL this week because of pressure from some shareholders.

Some Premier League sides have publicly questioned Ralebala’s leadership with reports suggesting that there was intense fighting going on behind the scenes at Lekidi Football Centre. However, without dwelling too much on the internal brawls going on at the BFL board, Ralebala did confirm that he stepped aside because of differences in opinions.

He said he was not going to stay at the helm when others felt that he was not fitting the profile that is needed to be in that position. Jwaneng Galaxy chairperson, Njabulo Gilika has been temporarily given the responsibility to lead the board until the next meeting. Ralebala said despite what has happened to him when he was the chairperson, he is willing to work with everyone so that football can grow. “I felt that football is regressing instead of going forward. The COVID-19 effect cannot be ignored as well but what I wanted to see was football moving forward. Maybe I came at the wrong time.

Whoever takes over, I will give them my support. Because at the end of the day I am supporting football and not necessarily an individual,” he said. The internal fights at the elite league body in the country have come a long way before the entity was finally granted its autonomy. Reports of big brother mentality have always been said to play a big role in the bickering which some have blamed for the stagnant growth of the game in the country. The usual ‘big players’ in these fights always dictate terms and anything that goes against their wishes falls by the wayside. For years, the Premier League sides have always clamoured for autonomy arguing that operating under the Botswana Football Association (BFA) hinders progress.

The BFA has, over the years been reluctant to grant the structure its full autonomy until a decision was finally reached at last year’s elective general assembly. Ralebala was appointed the chairperson early this year after his side gained promotion to the elite league. Of all the other former league chairpersons, former Uniao Flamengo Santos, Mike Molefe appeared to command the respect from his fellow club chairpersons. Molefe, despite other challenges, hardly ever came under pressure until his reign came to an end.

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