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BFA sweat over Sebego matter

Publishing Date : 07 May, 2019


Botswana Football Association (BFA) is seen to be fluffing lines in their desperate attempt to charge and prosecute former association boss, Tebogo Sebego over allegations that he has soiled the reputation of the local football body.

BFA had filed an appeal that they be allowed to bring Sebego to book for undermining the current BFA leadership. This week, however, the appeals committee held the Disciplinary committee judgment that the former BFA legal adviser was not properly charged. The appeals committee ruled that BFA should first make a formal complaint to the disciplinary committee chairperson who in turn will carry out investigations before formally laying down charges.

As of now, the association does not know the way forward regarding this matter as they feel that these standing bodies (DC and Appeals Committee) have complicated matters. Sebego was charged by the association sometimes in January but he boldly absolved himself from any wrong doing.  

When reached for comment Sebego said: “I am happy with the outcome. Justice has prevailed. It is now time for us to focus on our core mandate and not self-induced disputes.  I am obviously disappointed that the NEC, who are supposed to protect the constitution and its secondary statutes, breach them with impunity.”

The association held a strong argument that Sebego’s previous Facebook comments were made by an official of the BFA and that the posts violated the rules and regulations of the association on the conduct of officials—what they may not say or do. The association had believed that inquiries have been thoroughly carried out and the proof lies conspicuously within the charge sheet. It turned out that the appeals committee dismissed the BFA arguments and guided them to follow process.

When appealing the matter, the association argued that, “the committee failed to properly construe the relevant provisions of the Disciplinary code and also misconstrued its role in the disciplinary process.” It further argued that they are member of the Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) and as such, FIFA operates in a jurisdiction where the system of law that is in use is inquisitorial and not an adversarial system of law that federations are accustomed to. BFA points out that an inquisitorial system has no strict regulation on the burden and standard of proof, as the presiding officer is responsible for uncovering the truth.

BFA, as led by Mac Lean Letshwiti sternly believes that the Facebook posts were made by a president of a football club that is affiliated to the BFA, and which club is therefore a member of the BFA as defined in the constitution. Having understood that position, BFA says article 9 of the constitution obliges officials of the BFA to observe, among other, the statutes/constitution, regulations, directives, decisions and the code of ethics of the BFA in their activities.

BFA says its codes of ethics apply to conduct that is seen to be damaging the integrity and reputation of football. This, according to legal advisor, the article mentioned applies to all officials, in this case is Sebego. It is further mentioned that all officials are obliged to commit to an ethical attitude, to behave in a dignified manner and to act with integrity. The code of ethics, which Sebego has allegedly contravened, is so strict that the breach of it will sanctioned irrespective of whether or not the conduct complained of was committed deliberately or negligently.

Sebego once wrote: “You smoke out spineless leaders through court process…I told you all about this evil man. I warned football about him. He lacks self-esteem and uses dirty tricks all the time.” It is further believed that referring to BFA officials as ‘coward’’ a spineless leader” an evil man; one who lacks self-esteem...all appear to be clear violation of article 3.7 BFA code of conduct.



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