Division North Chairman Speaks Out
• Olopeng suspended in absentia while in the USA
• Claims First Division North not affi liated to BFA
Suspended First Division North (FDN) Chairman, Eatametse Olopeng has claimed he was victimized by the BFA over his support for Police XI during the clubs’ tussle with the association.
Olopeng who was in the United States of America for a short course when he was suspended, said he only received a call from his Secretary Bikie Sikwane informing him of the decision after he returned.
He said up to this day he still has no idea why they decided to give the letter to his junior.
“I never received any letter from the Association and since arriving back from the USA on Tuesday I have not heard a single word from them.
I do not even know the kind of suspension I’m facing since I do not have details of that letter.
I have a feeling that the National Executive Committee is deliberately keeping mum because I have been communicating with acting Chief Executive Officer Tariq Babitseng and he has said nothing to me.
Until they send the letter to me, I will just sit down and watch where all this will end,” said Olopeng.
He added that according to Sikwane the suspension came after he made a sworn statement to support Police X1 in their suspension case.
He said the information he gave was that even the FDN had not affi liated this season.
This came against the backdrop of Security Systems and Police XI being deregistered from BFA for failure to pay their subscription fees.
Notwane and BR Higlanders were ushered in to replace the two condemned teams in a move seen in some quarters as a deliberate plot to bring back relegated Notwane to top-fl ight football.
“Up to this day the FDN has not affi liated with the BFA – no money has left our office meant to pay for our affi liation,” he told Voice Sport.
He further said when he told NEC members that deregistering Highlanders and Police XI was unfair since FDN had also not affi liated, he was told that the Association had paid affi liation fees on FDN’s behalf.
“I asked them to show me the receipts but they couldn’t, so as things stands FDN is not a BFA affi liate – we did not pay any subscription fees.”
“The NEC’s decision suspended me simply because I diff ered with them on principle. I’m a police officer and cannot lie to the public.
I’m sorry if telling the truth is a taboo in the Association,” he added. The acting CEO however claimed that he e-mailed the suspension correspondence to Olopeng and also copied it to his secretary.
“For now I cannot talk much about this case, it is an internal matter and I will only talk about it after Olopeng has appeared for a disciplinary hearing. What I can say is that there is something he did not do right, he violated a code of conduct,” said Babitseng.
Meanwhile Botswana Football President Tebogo Sebego said Olopeng was suspended for bringing the game into disrepute.
He said he had outlined the relevant constitutional provisions as well as court precedents that deal with club affi liation.
“I must express my displeasure that despite the clarity of our legal instruments and status this matter was given unwarranted attention.
Some people even accused us of hidden motives over the issue – however it is water under the bridge and my hope is that we have all learnt our lessons,” said Sebego.