BFA Disappoints Khama

| June 5, 2015

Government is disappointed that Botswana Football Association (BFA) supported Sepp Blatter during the recent FIFA presidential elections.

This came to light in an exclusive interview with President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama at the Office of the President today (June 4).

President Khama said government, had through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, aised BFA against supporting Blatter’s candidacy given the scandals that had tarnished FIFA’s image.

He said since Botswana had zero tolerance for corruption and had put measures in place to ensure it was kept at the “barest minimum level”, it was, therefore, not in line for the country to be associated with individuals accused of corruption.

“That is why our rankings world-wide are as good as they are, and how can we then have people who are part of us, going and voting for a situation like that, where someone has presided over so much corruption,” said President Khama.

He said Botswana was not saying Blatter was corrupt himself but he should take responsibility for not putting in place interventions to curb corruption.

The BFA, he said, chose to ignore the ministry’s aice, noting that while government could not instruct them on how to vote because of FIFA rules that recognised associations as independent of governments, it was disappointing that they failed to take aice.

“We are sad that they took that position because we are partners and whenever BFA want assistance, they come running to government and we always try to help them but and on an issue like this when we try to give them aice, they ignore it. As it is, we have been proven right while BFA has been proven wrong because now the man has stepped down,” he said.

The BFA, he said, went ahead and voted for Blatter whose presidency was mired in scandals. However, President Khama expressed hope that next time they would scrutinise candidates before they voted for them so they could have the best person to lead the organisation.

According to Lt Gen. Khama, those who supported Blatter had been trying to justify that he was a friend of Africa in that the continent had benefited immensely under his leadership.

“There is no denying that but my point is, are we saying it was only Blatter who could have aanced African football? I think there are many people out there who could have come in, they would have done the same thing … to develop and aance football world-wide, and its’ not Sepp Blatter’s prerogative to do that,” he said.

President Khama further said he hoped that the next FIFA president would perform better than Blatter in promoting and developing football in the continent. However, he said not only did the BFA disappoint him but that Africa as a block decided to cast a blind eye to all the FIFA scandals.

He said Africa seemed oblivious of FIFA’s double standards on African matters. This was because one African country (Nigeria) recently risked suspension from FIFA after its corruption busting agency suspected corruption in the football federation and wanted to investigate it.

They were warned that should the anti-corruption body continue with their investigations, Nigeria risked suspension because governments must not interfere in the running of football. However, unlike Nigeria, countries that were currently investigating FIFA had not been threatened with expulsion.

“Now what we have seen recently, the United States, and Switzerland have arrested FIFA officials, were their federations threatened with suspension, have they been suspended, no, of course not, now we must ask our African brothers and sisters who voted for them, that do they not see that we are not treated the same as the rest of the world,” said President Khama.

Incidentally, the President said, it was a government’s responsibility to root out corruption but for FIFA to say they would suspend Nigeria, they were actually protecting and reinforcing corruption.


Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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