Bots on Fifa radar after Nigeria suspension
Gaborone – Amid reports that the world governing body, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has suspended Nigeria from all footballing activities, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) President David Fani was at pains this week to explain that the same fate would not befall Botswana football. The world socer gobverning body has clashed with the Bostwana government on what are called constituency football tournaments in Bostwana run by the government. Fifa wants no government control on the tournaments but wants them run by the BFA. The world soccer bidy has threatened to ban Bostwana from al footballing activies if Gaborone does not revsit the issue of direct government control. On September 4, the BFA wrote a letter to FIFA updating it on the Constituency tournaments. “In response to this letter, FIFA wrote back acknowledging BFA’s explanation as regards the Constituency Tournaments,” said Fani. He said in FIFA’s letter dated 21st September 2010, FIFA noted that it understands that BFA has held a series of meetings with Government authorities and that BFA intends to pursue dialogue in order to find a solution. “The FIFA letter further states that FIFA will continue to monitor the situation and requests that BFA should inform it about developments with regard to the issue,” said Fani. He said a copy of the letter was passed on to the Ministry of Youth Sport and Culture. “Subsequently at a meeting called to discuss a different subject, the parties acknowledged that discussions on the matter should be held with a view to bring the matter to a close,” Fani said. The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) was suspended over alleged government interference in football matters. Botswana’s perceived interference is coming from the controversial constituency tournament, an initiative of President Ian Khama. Explaining the circumstances that led to the introduction of the Constituency Tournaments, recently, the Minister of Sports Youth and Culture, Shaw Kgathi said the objective of the constituency tournaments were to address some of the social ills faced by the country. “The tournaments’ primary objective was to take the youth from the streets by providing them with worthwhile activities to engage in so that their indulgence in undesirable activities such as crime and alcohol and drug abuse could be curtailed,” Kgathi told reporters at a press briefing.