Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) have vowed to crack the whip and go after National Sport Associations who are accused of bringing sport into disrepute.
At least three (3) national sport associations have been targeted and disciplinary hearings are looming, early indications also suggest that the number could rise up to four (4) by the weekend.
Speaking during a press briefing at Avani Hotel on Wednesday, BNSC Chief Executive Officer, Tuelo Daniel Serufho announced that they (BNSC) are concerned by the behavior of some of their affiliates who conduct themselves in an unacceptable manner and labelled some of their acts as cantankerous.
Just last week, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Kitso Kemoen, berated some of national sport association leaders, whom he accused of being dictatorial in their positions which is negatively affecting the image and developments of sports.
Following the utterances of the Permanent Secretary, Serufho confirmed that they are due to take necessary steps and call the concerned associations to face the music.
“The Permanent Secretary has made it clear that they are concerned by what is happening at national sport associations and I wish to confirm that indeed they are worried, even us at the commission are also worried by some of what is happening. I want to inform you here this morning that, we are cracking the whip,” the BNSC Chief announced.
“I can confirm that the disciplinary committee are set to meet today and evaluate the cases that are before us. So far, we have presented three cases to the disciplinary committee which relate to our national sport associations; there is a 4th case that we are currently finalizing that we could submit today or tomorrow and there are two or so cases more that we are also looking at. We want things to be done right and we are doing our bit to have things run smoothly,” Serufho added.
A couple of months back, the Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare also expressed his concerns on the current animosity in local sport, particularly football, where he labelled the incident involving the registration of Onkarabile Ratanang as 'disgusting and embarrassing'.
Football leadership have already been warned to put their house in order after Botswana and Namibia agreed to bid together to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2027.
Although Serufho declined to name the concerned associations, close sources have revealed that Karate and Football are leading perpetrators of distress to the BNSC.
In other updates, Serufho reiterated that they will stick to their new model of funding which will see the BNSC invests more funds into the best performing sporting codes.
“In the foreseeable future, we will be putting more money into our top tier national sporting associations and for obvious reasons,” he said.
He gave an example of athletics and football as some of the sporting codes which have proven that they have the capacity to contribute to the gross domestic product and help the government fight unemployment as athletes in the two codes can turn professional and be self-sustainable.
“Mineral resources are not perpetual, in due time, the minerals we are mining will be depleted and our government has noted that sport has the potential to assist in diversifying the economy, that is why we are covered in national vision 2036 and we will do our best to assist and create employment.
Serufho further called for mind-set change and highlighted that BNSC is currently working on a diversity equity and inclusion policy, which has been approved at board level and awaits ratification at the commissions’ annual general assembly.
The policy is expected to bring about balance in the remunerations of national athletes and gender equity amongst other points.