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The Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) has elected former national team striker, Onalethata Tshekiso as its new president.

He replaces FUB’s founding president Mmoni States Segopolo who did not stand for re-election, because he wanted young blood to take over after seven years at the union’s helm. A former national team player himself, Segopolo said: “I will not be leaving the union. I have gained enough experience to serve in another capacity”.

Before stepping down, Segopolo told FUB’s new leadership. “We have made enough enemies in football, all in the name of setting up this structure. We cannot afford to take a step back. We cannot afford to miss the opportunity of taking our rightful place in the game today.”

In his acceptance speech, new president Tshekiso told the players that the stronger they become, the more respected FUB will be.

“Firstly we need to take ourselves very serious as players,” Tshekiso said. “We need to show a high level of responsibility in what we do. As I accept this responsibility, I want you to accept the challenge that comes with supporting the challenges and battles that the union will face along the way.”

Among the main challenges FUB face are late payment of salaries (according to the FIFPro 2016 Global Employment Report 41% of players experienced delayed payment during the past two seasons) and a lack of financial or medical assistance when recovering from injuries (50% of players reported being unsatisfied with medical support).

Secretary general Kgosana Masaseng explained that the players are fed up with payment issues. “It is common cause that out of the 16 teams in our Premier League, only six pay players well in time and the agreed amount.”

Since his appointment, Tshekiso has met with the Botswana Football Association (BFA), where he was informed that before the new season begins in August several important issues will be realized, including the establishment of a dispute resolution chamber, the adoption of a standard player’s contract and the implementation of new regulations for intermediaries.

 

Photo: new president Onalethata Tshekiso (left) and former president Mmoni Segopolo (right).

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