Former football players including those who have donned national colours are on their own because administrators don’t give a toss about them.
This came to light when Voice Sport spoke to a number of people at a birthday party for former BDF XI, GU and Black Peril coach Tizzah Sekgaphane. The now wheelchair bound Sekgaphane, 69, came to Botswana from South Africa in the ’70s and made his name at these clubs and occasionally helping with the junior national teams.
Former zebras coach Kgosi Spokes Gaborone said that most in football administration are there for the fame, limelight and other pecks that come with their positions and are less bothered about the welfare of players.
“I think players seem to be forgotten after their playing days because most of those who run football are not football people. Being non football people they do not realise the value of ex-players,” he said.
“If you look at other leagues in neighbouring countries and other parts of the world , ex players , especially those who have played for national teams, are still involved in football in varying roles. Some are coaches, some are in media and some are in administration. This is because those running football in those countries are football people and understand that players can add something to the sport even after their playing days.”
Naphtali Scara Kebalepile who won many hearts with his outrageous but effective skill on the field of play also feels that former players have a role to play in football and could use their experience to help our football get to the next level.
“We have a role to play and we should be given a chance to contribute meaningfully to the development of football. A lot of people ask me why I was so confident on the ball and I tell them that it was all from training hard and staying focussed. These are things that I and other former players could teach to young players. My wish is for the authorities at club and national level could give us a decent chance. There are lot of ex players who want to help develop players as well as those who want to go into administration. All they need is a chance to work and we will do it” he said also adding that there is need for a fund to help those hit by misfortune.
“Administrators should welcome us and not see us as a threat to their aspirations. We played football because we love it and willing to continue serving the sport because we love it.” He added.
Kitso Kemoeng, a seasoned sport administrator said current and former players’ welfare will improve once we get people who do not hog limelight to run football.
Speaking on the need to look after ex-players Kemoeng told Voice Sport: “There are people who have worked for this country in football at different levels but the system just dumps them. We are not saying they should be rich but the country should help them in one way or the other. There should be a facility to help them with finances and other needs whenever it becomes necessary. This will show that we appreciate and value their contribution the sport”