When he the Botswana Football Association CEO position fell vacant after the unceremonious departure of Keith Master, we waited with baited breathe and anticipation of who would take over.
This is one of those hot seats, not only in Botswana Football but in Botswana as a country. This is because football is the most followed, most talked about, most popular sport in the country and we all think we can run the BFA.
That’s the thing with football in Botswana; we all know what is best for Botswana football. Last week BFA CEO Kitso Kemoen delivered his first 100 days report card and I must say; he is talking the talk.
He is certainly saying the right things. One or two things I might question and not necessarily agree with, but on the whole I think he is saying all the right things and is heading in the right direction. One thing I like about Kemoen is his cool and calmness when addressing issues and people.
People and relationship management is key in such a position and he is doing quite well in that regard. Like I said, football is for the masses and we all have an opinion, and whatever hogwash we say, he has to atleast pretend to listen to us as supporters and football followers.
In his reports card, he talked a lot about building relationships and that was his theme. And for that I commend him. Everything is based on solid relationship management. He also pointed out the many challenges that he has encountered since joining the BFA and I must day, most of them are the usual ones we have become accustomed to.
And I hope he will be able to overcome them and get things done, rather than see them as impediments and eventually use them as an excuse. We all know all the challenges that the BFA faces, paramount being Finances, and I’m pretty sure Kemoen applied, went for the interview and signed the offer letter of employment knowing quite well that the BFA has financial challenges. He should now be telling us how he plans to counter that challenge, and to some extent he touched on that and it seems like it is one of his key performance areas.
One thing that I particularly like about Kemoen is that he is a shrewd administrator who calls a spade a spade. He will not dilly-dally and beat about the bush. Quizzed on his relationship with staff at Lekidi, he bluntly and straight forward said, those who are not in sync with his way of doing things will have to leave. And he said this in the presence of some of his officers.
Now that’s a bold statement. We have over the years got to hear that some people just sleep on the job at Lekidi and nothing ever happens. Now here is a man who is ready to bite the bullet and has made it clear that those who do not pull their weight will have to leave.
To quote him verbatim, he said ‘excess baggage will be shown the door’. I guess we will never hear of flights not been booked on time or allowances not been paid just because someone at Lekidi slept on the job. These are some of the minor, but critical issues that he has to do away with and he would be well on the way to success. The BFA has for some time had this rather battered reputation and he sounds like a man who will turn the tide. And that reputation can only be replenished with good overall performance.
Kemoen speedily needs to start doing. We need to see actions, not only talk. So far the talk is encouraging, we now need to see the shovels hitting the ground. We need to have a robust grassroots development plan, a robust commercial plan, movement on the FIFA Goal projects, establishment of soccer academies, improved staff and player welfare, and the BFA courting and sealing deals with commercial partners so as to counter the ‘ga go na madi’ challenge. And In Kemoen, I have all the confidence that we are headed in the right direction. So far, so good.