Mooketsi Kgotlele Banned for Life by FIFA

FIFA has placed a life ban on Mooketsi Kgotlele, former secretary-general to the Botswana Football Association. They have found him guilty for accepting bribes and also manipulating of international games.

The Investigation

Judges of the independent ethics body have found Kgotlele guilty for accepting bribes. This was done to the manipulation of various international matches. They have started an investigation into his actions during September 2018. This investigation was initiated after multiple claims were made connecting him with involvement with match manipulation to influence sports betting by a well-known Singapore based match-fixer, Mr Wilson Raj Perumal.

After Perumal’s arrest in 2011 in Finland for his involvement in the fixing of top-tier football games, he started to collaborate with the investigators of the case. His testimony seems to be a giant stepping stone in the investigation against Kgotlele. Not much of the details have yet been made public by FIFA.

But it was indicated that he was found guilty of breaching Article 12 by the Independent Ethics Committee. Article 12 in the FIFA Code of Ethics 2006 edition is related to bribery in the sport. Kgotlele was informed about their decision and that he is banned from any football-related activity. These activities include sports and administrative duties. The ban is also valid for both national as well as international games. A fine of 50 000 francs, the equivalent to $50 593 was also imposed on him.

A Seeming Lack of Evidence

According to different sources, it seems that FIFA’s lack of discussing the evidence against Kgotlele in more detail might be due to a lack of real evidence. If this is the case, it might be that Kgotlele appeal against their decision by following with some legal action against them. If this is the case, it might backfire on FIFA with extensive legal action.

Especially if this process leads to the reinstatement of Kgotlele, some will describe the entire process of the investigation against Kgotlele as merely a kangaroo court. What also seems to have influenced the decision is the fact that there has been a long-standing hostility against Kgotlele due to his relationship with Philip Makgalemele, the former president of Botswana Football Association. In addition to this, there was also a certain degree of unhappiness with the fact that the Botswana Football Association didn’t renew the contract of Losika Keatlholetswe as the head of technical earlier this year.

There has been made an allegation against Kgotlele incriminating him to a certain degree of involvement with a bribe that took place during a friendly game between China and Botswana. According to this allegation, the results were influenced in exchange for large amounts of money exchanging hands.

Whether there is proof for these allegations is still uncertain. In response to the question to Kgotlele what he is planning to do regarding FIFA’s decision, there was no certainty yet from his side. At the moment, it seems that there is a lot more in this story, still waiting to be exposed.