New BPL Chairperson Vows to Crack Whip

| December 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

American football player, Vincent Thomas “Vince” Lombardi once said “leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

One might link Lombardi’s words to the newly elected Botswana Premier League (BPL) chairperson, Arnold Semolokae who took the baton from Mokganedi Molefe on December 14. Somolekae is not new to leadership, as he has been in leadership positions for a long time and performed his duties diligently.

He is the current Notwane Football Club chairperson. He was also once the deputy chairperson of ministerial consultative committee, Botswana Public Service Union and publicity secretary at Selebi Phikwe, amongst others.

Maybe, and just maybe, he is what the doctor prescribed for the premier league which is faced with a myriad of challenges. He is not just an ordinary man, he is the president of Broadhurst Customary Court, and one hopes that his experience and work ethic would help him take the BPL to greater heights.

Those who have worked with him described him as a straight forward man who does not entertain favouritism. He is a man of repute and good standing who is not afraid to call a spade a spade.

Somolekae says he is aware that some people doubt that he could bring changes to the BPL. Talking to him one can conclude that he will walk the talk of taking the premier league to the biblical Canaan.

In an interview, Somolekae said he would not shy away from suspending or expelling anyone involved in backstabbing the leadership or members of the BPL. He said as a leader he will not condone and tolerate negative groups aimed at backbiting others as there is so much work to be done at the BPL instead of wasting time discussing negative issues.

Somolekae said the BPL, as an elite league, needs a leader who is purposeful and has the vision to take football to greater heights. He said the development of football and good administration could help individual teams to move out of the tendency of short term solution of club matters such as accommodation, salaries and players contracts.

Somolekae says as the BPL chairperson, one is expected to lead the board, general assembly and the premier league, adding that it calls for the engagement of all to ensure that things are done in the right way by the secretariat, board members, the media as well as other partners.

The new BPL chairperson believes in positive criticism and urged the media and other stakeholders to aise the premier league on strategies on how to pull together and bring more positive results.

He urged the media to desist from negative criticism as it impacts on the BPL, adding that there is a need to work collectively in support of football. Somolekae however admitted that there are challenges surrounding the league hence the need for a road map on strategies geared towards addressing challenges.

He said top on his agenda is to build stability within the league and to tackle challenges with an open mind and in a transparent manner. The existing instability in the league, he said, is a matter of concern given that clubs discuss their dissatisfaction with the media.

The secretariat and clubs, he said, should have a cordial working relationship, adding that hearing issues from the media is disappointing. On sponsorship, Somolekae said they would continue soliciting sponsorships, noting that it is important for the league to be valued as to how much it costs.

On the Botswana Football Association, he said the football governing body mandate involves developing football hence the need for the BPL and BFA to work together and to involve club chairpersons in different structures of the BFA.

On external partnership, he said the BPL is lucky to have neighbouring countries which had in the past won competitions such as AFCON which Botswana can benchmark from.

He said his desire was to bring First Division chairpersons on board and to work closely with them on issues of relegation and promotion of players and teams to the premier league.

He raised concern that some games that could be played in Gaborone have been staged at Molepolole, adding that he was still to consult with the University of Botswana about their stadium. Somolekae vowed to be fair, straight, honest and transparent with all stakeholders.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

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