Zakhem accuses Rakgare of meddling

The Botswana Football League (BFL) chairman, Nicholas Zakhem has accused the Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare of meddling in football matters PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE
The Botswana Football League (BFL) chairman, Nicholas Zakhem has accused the Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare of meddling in football matters PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE

The Botswana Football League (BFL) chairman, Nicholas Zakhem has accused the Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare of meddling in football matters, which has only served to exacerbate the current leadership crisis.

Zakhem made the accusation during a media briefing called by the BFL this morning to update on issues affecting the league body. He said progress in football has been hampered by external factors with Rakgare being a part of the issues.

“Yes, the minister of Sports Rakgare is interfering. One example is that immediately after the offices were locked and employees were given three days off by the shareholders, the minister welcomed them into the ministry the next day. Who does that? That is not how things are done! Why should he entertain them?” Zakhem queried. He said a case has been opened with the police against shareholders who locked offices recently.

He said the minister has even gone on national television to comment on football matters.


“The minister is interfering with football. He said, live on TV, that foreigners are running football. He was talking about me and Jagdish Shah. How can you go live on TV and say that? I am sorry to say that we are citizens of this country,” he said. Zakhem added although Botswana is not known for "racism and discrimination", they have experienced that for the first time lately.

“We have been in Botswana for too long, but for the first time after December 17 when they came to throw us out of offices, I saw that there is racism and discrimination here,” Zakhem said. Zakhem and Shah said they plan to vacate their positions at BFL.

“Our term is supposed to end in 2025, but me and Shah before or after these issues, decided that after the 2023–2024 season, we are leaving our posts,” he said.

Shah also shared his side of the story. “When the time is right to leave, I will leave like I did with my time at Township Rollers. So, us fighting the decision taken by the shareholders, it was not about the position, but our integrity so come May 2024 we should be handing over,” he said. Shah said he had resigned from his position as director, but the Board together with shareholders overruled his decision, requesting him to stay as he is the one who has been doing the finances. He said he had wanted to leave because he was no longer affiliated with any club.

Meanwhile, Zakhem said Mbatha’s contract was not renewed as the South African did not activate a clause that would have extended the deal by six months. He also said there is no contract between broadcaster Vision View Television and BFL. Vision View has been broadcasting Premier League matches this season.

“There is no contract between BFL and Vision View. We only have a draft that was never signed. But yesterday I received an email from them asking we meet to discuss a way forward,” Zakhem said.

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