The Midweek Sun

SETHIBE QUITS BFA

 
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Tlhagiso Sonnyboy Sethibe was never going to renew his contract as the Technical Director at the Botswana Football Association (BFA), and although he is quick to refute this as the main reason, it is largely because of soured relations with the new management at Lekidi.

Not that the past political leadership of the BFA may have induced him to stay – Sethibe is known to have over some time grown thoroughly impatient with his employers for being indifferent to the development of soccer in the country. From prioritising funds on technical development matters, to apparent lack of understanding of which way the local game should be directed, the Technical Director is said to have found it difficult to continue working in an environment where management does not seem supportive of progressive initiatives.

It is this attitude about him that has had others labelling him ‘difficult to work with’ and ‘the one who thinks knows better.’ A number of officers within Lekidi reportedly have often felt offended with his approach and thinking towards how things should be done and generally about their understanding of football development. The new management, led by Tebogo Sebego, has always maintained that they want to work with people who share their roadmap and in Sethibe’s view, sources say, their roadmap on technical development is flawed.

And with Sethibe known to stick to his guns, he was never going to bend on anything he does not believe in. His relationship with some members of the technical team, including the Vice President Technical Ernest Nthobelang, is also said to have not been so rosy. Recently Nthobelang was linked with the changes made to the Diamond Zebras’ technical team, especially the removal of Razor Tsatsilebe, and this angered Sethibe as he was not a party to the decision. Allegations are that a long time employee of the BFA in the technical department, Philimon Makhwengwe neither shares any cordial relations with him. Apart from just insinuations of sabotage, it has between them always been a question of who has better ideas rather than a concerted effort to put the ideas together for a common cause, Sun Sport learns.

Such reports of bloated egos that have clashed irrevocably over time would also have not been helpful to Sethibe had he harboured interests of renewing his contract that expires towards the end of June. The political leadership at the BFA feels things can be done better without him, and were hellbent on removing him even as they were to ‘decide’ his fate at their meeting last Thursday. Sethibe is himself alive to the fact that his detractors within the BFA management have been all too happy to see his back that they could not even resist the excitement of leaking the news of his imminent departure to the press, just as they did with the sudden departure of former Chief Executive Officer, Duncan Kgame.

“They wanted to paint a picture of they being the ones showing him the door, but they knew he had all along shown no interest in continuing to work with them. And given their good relations with some individuals within the media, it was a given they would leak their decision even before Sethibe was officially informed,” a source close to the matter shared with Sun Sport. “Remember they did the same with Kgame. On the night he received his letter, an executive committee member had already copied the letter to their media friends,” the source revealed. The final decision on Sethibe's contract was arrived at last week’s National Executive Committee caucus, where various items, including his contract, were on the agenda.

Touted as among the most intelligent and knowledgeable coaches locally, Sethibe remains unfazed by the latest development at Lekidi. He however refutes the notion that he is difficult to work with, saying he sees his professional relationship with his masters to be as healthy as it should be. Sethibe believes he will be leaving the BFA’s technical directorship with some footprint to pride in. During his stint, the previous tradition where any foreign national could come to Botswana to coach local clubs was stopped. Now such coaches have to pass standard tests and qualification levels before they can coach in the country. He has also introduced football coaching and grassroots development education programmes, among these the B and C coaching licenses as well as goalkeeper coaching courses.

He has coached at both Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs, and has also worked as a development officer for FIFA. As a Technical Director, Sethibe was tasked with improving the standard of the local game more specially at grassroots level, as well as developing local coaches. BFA president Tebogo Sebego said he was not in a position to share any information about the technical director’s contract but said his office will make an official communication about the director’s issue in the not so distant future. Send your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.