Return of the MAK?

Portia Mlilo

Former President set for BFA comeback

Botswana Football Association (BFA) look set to retrace their steps, dipping 12-years into their past as they reportedly seek former President Phillip Makgalemele’s return.

It seems the association want Makgalemele back in the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – a position currently occupied by Mfolo Mfolo.

Mfolo, who joined Lekidi in 2017, had his two-year contract renewed last September and is generally believed to be doing a decent job.

However, he remains on secondment from the Ministry of Tertiary Education and his appointment has always been viewed as temporary.

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It is believed the BFA view Makgalemele as the ideal candidate to take over.

The one-time Minister of Sports – he took over briefly last year following Tshekedi Khama’s resignation – has a proud history with the sporting body, having served as President from 1998 to 2008.

In an exclusive interview with Voice Sport this week, Makgalemele admitted he would be tempted by a return to Lekidi, especially as he is out of work at the moment.

He revealed he submitted his CV to a recruitment agency to help him find a job, either locally or internationally, and is specifically seeking a CEO position.

The job-hunting former President ruefully added he was recently called to interview for the role of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Secretary General but did not get the job.

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“What I can confirm is that I am a servant of this country and any job that come in line with my qualifications I will definitely go for it. Football is my passion so I would not rule out possibilities of going back to Lekidi, that is if the position is available,” explained Makgalemele.

When reached for a comment, BFA Vice President, Marshlow Motlogelwa acknowledged they were yet to fill the CEO post themselves.

Although he stressed the association are pleased with the job Mfolo is doing, he conceded that if they can find a suitable candidate to replace him they would release him back to the Ministry of Tertiary Education.

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The BFA has a checkered record when it comes to CEOs, with previous incumbents Tosh Kgotlele, Duncan Kgame, Judge Mookodi, Keith Masters, Ookeditse Malesu and Kitso Kemoeng all failing to complete their terms after falling foul of the association.

The man currently in the role, Mfolo, declined to discuss the matter when contacted by Voice Sport.

Meanwhile, when asked for an update on the possible resumption of football activities, Motlogelwa explained there are certain regulations that must be followed due to the contact nature of the sport.

“There are specific precautionary measures that we need to ensure all teams will comply with,” he said, noting it is particularly difficult as most teams train outdoors where members of the public can pass by and fans regularly stop to watch training, potentially putting players at risk of catching Covid-19.

“How are they going to keep register of visitors? In some countries they have better training facilities that can be locked when players are training. It is going to be impossible for cleaning and disinfection of shared spaces. Our teams already have financial problems some of the requirements are going to be expensive. We are currently working on a proposal of how best we can adhere to the requirements,” stated a slightly exasperated Motlogelwa.

Last week the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) approved the resumtion of non-contact sporting activities.

Individual codes like athletics, badminton, cycling, darts, karate (individual kata), motor sport and tennis are now allowed to train.

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