MY WORD ON SUNDAY: Good riddance, Masters!

SHARE   |   Sunday, 08 March 2015   |   By Mpho Dibeela

I join those who are happy to see the back of Keith Masters. Though he has supposedly been a good soccer administrator in his previous employment, in Botswana he failed dismally to rise to the occasion. It is possible he assumed that the country provided him with good easing off into his final retirement. He never took us seriously. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) therefore has lost precious years of having had the right person to move the game forward. We have taken many steps backward. The President of the association Tebogo Sebego, who was quick upon election to declare that he had a CEO earmarked for the BFA, must have been devastated with disappointment. As it were, sooner had the man come, that Sebego’s tune to colleagues tended to border of defence of Masters. That’s always the case when one tries all they could to deflect accusations of having made a bad choice. But again there is a limit to the extent underperforming individuals could be protected. They embarrass you all the way, every turn. Sebego knows it better. It goes beyond this. One ought to take responsibility. I take it that Sebego and those that routed for Masters are not dodging the bullet. That when some of citizens – qualified - were lining up to serve BFA they were ignored for an expensive exercise cannot be taken to be small matter. It is given that as an expatriate he was one the most expensive employees the BFA ever employed as CEO. He was the first foreigner to hold the office. I belief that none of the citizens who were appointed CEO of BFA earned as much as he did. Yet, I am also convinced for whatever they are usually accused of lacking, they outperformed Masters. Sadly, there was never any understudy appointed for Masters. This pointed further to the massive calamity of his reign. No one was being prepared on the side or directly to localise the position. I wished somehow, the man could have suggested the appointment of a citizen to learn from him. This rarely happens easily since one cannot oversee a project aimed at taking him out of the job. This as such was to be a call from the Executive Committee. Anyway, he is gone; the issue now is what becomes of the BFA? Sebego will be worried about his re-election prospects based on this development. He, of course, could not have predicted how the man was going to fail him. It is how we pick the pieces and move forward that will be telling. The expectation is for one – appointment of a better and qualified citizen to the position. This should be done well to win back confidence in the leadership from those that had started doubting its worth. There is urgency in this. The roadmap that Sebego and co. were elected for has barely seen the light of day. He is almost starting from zero to try and build a legacy. We do not want to remember him for the blunder he made in hiring Masters. It is therefore for him to reach back to his drawing board and opt for a master-stroke. He should have someone who will quickly oversee the drawing of a long-term strategy for the association that will be anchored on a strong youth development component. The schools of excellence should be quickly salvaged and have resources invested in them to produce young talent to feed into the senior team. The new leader should be the kind to inspire confidence at Lekidi Centre and advance the commercialisation of football; one of Sebego’s key promises that is yet to be implemented. Our football simply cries out for a robust and responsive administration. The sooner we forget about Masters, the better!  

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