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Shah’s throne besieged

Publishing Date : 26 March, 2019

Author : MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE

Botswana Premier League board chairperson, Jagdish Shah is — behind closed doors — a frustrated man. Unbeknownst to him, the lurid chairperson is battling ugly demons in the form of rebellion within his board as factions threaten to rock Lekidi once again.


The confusion hit board is skating on thin ice as several different kinds of war are erupting, with board members swaying from one faction to the other. WeekendSport sources say a rebellion of some sort is threatening to play itself out where members are starting to turn their backs on the chairman. According to observers, this is a board that is defiant and stubborn to control and the strain is now weighing heavily on Shah. Insiders say members are plotting the fall of Shah and this is triggered by the sudden change of fixtures that involved Township Rollers, a club that Shah also leads.


As it stands, politics are taking centre stage and there is a serious plan to remove Shah from the post. Insiders say there is ‘big brother’ battle between Nicholas Zakhem and Shah. Zakhem is a member of the board because he represents GU. The two do not see eye-to-eye because both believe their clubs are better administered- and are paying players better.


The second clash has emerged between Somerset Gobuiwang and Shah. The combat between the two football administers is well documented. It comes way back from Rollers management.  The two have grown fiercest rivals after each fought for the control of the club.  Ironically, it was Gobuiwang who brought Shah to Rollers for purposes of investment.  While Gobuiwang ultimately lost the battle, it is now claimed that the chance to take on Shah has spontaneously arrived.  Sources say he is ready to throw weight behind those who want to oust Shah.


All the while, Shah seems comfortable. Sources likened him to a chess player confident of his tactics on the king’s Indian defence move. This is a move where the king is surrounded by pawns for the overall protection of the crown.  Lately, information has been spilling that newly recruited, yet living in trouble, Tariq Babitseng of Extension Gunners is eyeing Shah’s plum post. However, when reached for comment, Babitseng was quick to deny the allegations, “I do not have intentions of standing as of now, if it so happens, I will make it public knowledge.”


A couple of other board members are reported to be plotting with the low lying Babitseng to oust Shah. It is still maintained that Tebogo Sebego of Notwane is teaming with long time foot soldier Babitseng to take control. A source repeatedly says Babitseng is a master mind in dethroning Shah. But his unpredictability and ability to manoeuvre the football terrain is leaving others with confusion regarding his stand.


Solomon Mantswe of Police XI- who is serving as the right arm of Shah is expected to step down. But there is a rumour inside the board that Mantswe will not relinquish his duties. It is claimed that the Police XI chairman resent Zakhem, and as a demonstration to that, he once threatened to write a letter to him to explain why he disobeyed him and the board. That being the case, Mantswe is labelled a firm favourite of Shah.


When fielding WeekendSport‘s inquiry, the head of the board said there is no cause for panic and everything is well on track. “We will take matters by the strides, and I have not heard of any revolt. The law shall prevail,” Shah assured. This is after he was asked to clarify the issue regarding his stand as the chairperson within a ‘cracking house’.


However, this publication learnt that the National Executive Committee of the association has instituted a three man’s committee to further investigate the issue of league fixtures. But as a quick response to the matter, the BFA has appointed a management committee to oversee and run the affairs of the league.

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