One of the country’s biggest football brands, Extension Gunners, has denied being in any sort of crisis despite their chairman Tariq Babitseng being suspended from any football activities by the Botswana Football Association (BFA), this week.
The embattled Babitseng has a long-standing battle with the BFA, stemming from alleged misappropriation of funds during his time as an administrator at the football mother body. This week, the BFA wrote to Gunners informing the BTC Premiership outfit of its (BFA) decision to suspend Babitseng.
However, the controversial chairman matter is just part of the Gunners bucket of issues as the team recently held a Special General Meeting (SGM) to address numerous issues that have been afflicting the Lobatse sleeping giants. In an interview this week, the Gunners Communication manager, Willoughby Kemoen said they did not address the suspension of their chairman as they received the letter from the BFA , which implicates the teams of some wrong doing only after their meeting.
However, Kemoen said they have acknowledged receiving the letter and will be waiting for further communications from the Association. Kemoen said it will be up to the Gunners acting president Jacob Sesinyi to call an Executive Committee meeting to address the issue of the Gunners chairman. Meanwhile, Kemoen said the team will be under the guidance and direction of its board during such turbulent times.
“The president may later call a press conference to update the media on the state of the team,” Kemoen said. Some of the issues discussed at the Gunners SGM included co-opting the team membership to fill up positions that were vacant in the executive committee. The vacant positions that have since been filled include Team manager, Vice chairman, Marketing manager, treasurer and Club president.
Top of the Gunners executive committee agenda includes that of the technical sponsor contract, which is expected to be reviewed before the team’s General Assembly in July. The technical sponsor for Gunners is currently 90min plus, a local sports apparel company, which Kemoen explains has found a running contract with the technical sponsor when they took over. “We have engaged a local attorney, Ian Kebopetswe to amend the Gunners constitution to accommodate commercialisation.”
Furthermore, Gunners are seeking to drill their supporters against taking club matters to social media, which often decreases chances of securing sponsorship for the team. The SGM resolutions further address the debts that have been accumulated by the team recently. Kemoen explained that they will set up a sub-committee to lead with initiatives to fund raise for the club. This will help pay club debts including all former coaches and current players’ salaries.
Meanwhile, Kemoen said they are disappointed at the position the team currently occupies in the log standings with only one game left before the current season comes to a close. “We are currently in position nine with one game left against Sankoyo Bush Bucks in Maun. If we win this game, we might end up in the top eight brackets.”
Botswana Football Association (BFA) regional coordinator Setete Phuthego has confirmed that they have procured an alternative kit for Sankoyo Bush Bucks to use this weekend, in case their supplier repeats the first leg antics.
A week ago, Sankoyo was forced to play in an alternate kit against Sua Flamingoes in Francistown. 90 min Plus, their supplier was said to have failed to deliver well on time. Phuthego said that Simon Ramosweu of 90min Plus when reached, told them that he was currently out of the country and will be returning on Thursday. “We could not trust that he will come back and give us the kit, lest we find ourselves in an impossible situation, we could not afford to let the matter disrupt the games for the second time,” he noted.
The team is scheduled to play Jwaneng Galaxy in Maun this coming weekend.
According to Sankoyo Spokesperson, Thato Molosi, they are in the dark about the whereabouts of their supplier who they say is not even answering his phone when contacted. “We are running around looking for alternatives and the possibility is that we will play using a kit not from our supplier 90min Plus,” Molosi said. It seems there is an ugly standoff between Sankoyo and 90min Plus. In fact, BG Sport can reliably confirm that Sankoyo are looking into terminating their contract with 90min Plus. The contract was only signed in January 2019 and already both parties feel frustrated.
Ramosweu when contacted said that he does not want to share his grievances with the media and will only channel his concerns to the right stakeholders being Orange and BFA. Meanwhile, the unimpressed Orange Public Relations and Social Media Specialist Mosarwa Molema washed his hands clean from the matter, saying it is a team-supplier issue. Molema said that there is something cooking between Sankoyo and 90min Plus.
“We cannot be entangled in teams and their supplier issues, the two parties have answers to this and I actually blame Sankoyo for trusting 90min Plus with the responsibility of delivering the kit,” he said. Molema expressed worry that should Sankoyo once again come to the field of play without the kit, it would negatively affect the brand. He said it was worrisome that a team comes to compete not properly dressed and if the Francistown scenes come to play once again, the possibility of Sankoyo forfeiting the game would not be a far-fetched option.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA)‘s decision to reinstate the Premier League Management Committee with immediate effect has rubbed the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Board the wrong way.Following the controversial acts and irregularities that played themselves out in the open at BPL office last week, resulting in one planned game being aborted and the league board divided, the BFA early this week moved swiftly to reinstate the long lost Management Committee to address fixtures.
A decision that the BFA thought as a cool down remedy that would restore order at the BPL office. Nevertheless it seems the fire has not been put out yet, if anything, BFA has further angered the BPL board. Allegations reaching this publication suggest that sometime this week, the BPL wrote a letter of displeasure to the BFA president about the recent unfolding developments. However, BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo has denied receiving such a letter from BPL.
Meanwhile, it appears that the BPL board feels that BFA acted on emotions when they decided to reinstate the committee without even involving them. A story carried by BG Sport last week questioned why the BPL office did not have a Management Committee despite the fact that the BFA constitution demanded such. The Management Committee should be responsible for the control and administration of the premier league competitions. The club chairmen were conflicted when it came to issues of fixtures and as such, they were now pointing fingers at the BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Thabo Ntshinogang for turning BPL office into a one- man show.
Nevertheless this week, when BFA saw the need to bring back the Management Committee, the BPL was visibly thrown to the dogs by the football mother body. The BFA leadership even issued a press statement, apologizing for the controversial aborted Miscellaneous and Township Rollers game. The BFA National Executive Committee even assured that they are investigating the matter and will get to the bottom of it and remedial actions will be taken if necessary.
On the other hand, the BPL office never publicly apologized. In fact, prior to the aborted game, Ntshinogang had written a letter to Miscellaneous telling them that there shall be consequences if they did not attend the scheduled game. He had at the time seen nothing wrong with the decisions his office made prior to the cancelled game. It remains unclear if BFA feels that BPL is to blame for the outcome of events or not. Nevertheless the tricky part is that section 12.5.3 of the BFA constitution that speaks of powers of the premier league board says that the board is responsible for the appointment of the management committee headed by the Premier league Executive Director.
According to Mfolo, the Executive Director in this regard is Ntshinogang. Quizzed if BFA was not stepping on BPL toes more so that the board as per the constitution should appoint their own committee, Mfolo was defensive arguing that when things go wrong, they have the authority to act within the best interest of football and with that, they had to intervene.
BG sport has it in good authority that BPL was not present when BFA met with the reinstated Management Committee this Monday. In fact those who were present at the meeting have told this publication that the meeting was very brief and only informing them that they are now back at BPL. The man who is heading the committee, Booker Bannister, when reached for comment said that BFA has not given them any details as to what they need his team to do. “I feel I cannot comment at the moment because we are yet to be told why we have been reinstated and what it is that we need to do,” he said.
The Management Committee was dissolved in 2017 when Rapula Okaile was the BPL board chairman. It was alleged at the time, that there were wrangles between the BPL board and the Committee. The board felt the committee was disrespecting their presence while the management committee also demanded respect from the league board. Mfolo however said that they will be following the constitution this time around and if all want to protect the image of football, they have to find common ground and operate in a manner that will prevent the BPL’s name to be brought into disrepute.
Former Botswana Football Association (BFA) Technical Director, Matshidiso Kowa, credited for developing Zebras midfielder Mogakolodi Ngele, one of the greatest football exports Botswana has ever produced, did not mince his words in a recent interview when he accused South African Mamelodi Sundown’s coach Pitso Mosimane of destroying the player's career. The development coach lashed out at Sundowns for the way his beloved protégé is being treated.
Speaking to BG Sports about Ngele’s career stall, Kowa has called on Mosimane to set Ngele free so he can spread his wings elsewhere. “A professional coach shouldn’t have any problems selling players to other teams, if you remember very well Tsotso was flourishing when he was loaned to Bidvest Wits in the 2016/2017 season, he won the league and he was withdrawn from Wits. Several teams like Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits were after him but an individual won’t sell him because he fears the harm he can cause.”
Kowa said professional coaches all over the world give players a chance to play elsewhere if they don’t fit in their team, “Luis Van Gaal bought Angel Di Maria while at Manchester United and the player wasn’t what he thought he would be, he then sold him, Alvaro Morata is currently being given a chance to play at Atletico Madrid but he wasn’t playing at Chelsea, why can’t Pitso do the same thing with Tsotso?” Kowa retorted. “I was listening to the radio yesterday and Mosimane was accused of destroying talent in South Africa, remember Sibusiso Vilakazi who was causing Sundowns headaches while at Wits, George Lebese was at the peak of his game at Kaizer Chiefs, Pitso picked and froze them.”
Kowa says he has had an encounter with Mosimane before and questioned him about the player, “I met Mosimane in Morocco not so long ago, when I asked him about the player, he said he is becoming lazy, I told him to sell the player. He didn’t sell him, obviously because Sundowns is one of Patrice Motsepe’s hobbies, they are not that professional if you can observe.” Furthermore, Kowa expressed disappointment over youngsters who never return to their roots when they need advice, “these youngsters never return to us to ask for our advice under this kind of circumstances, instead they go to sharks, people who don’t appreciate the good that you do; when you do something good, people want to take it away from you and drag it down below.”
He stressed that Ngele is getting old and he remains stuck with a reserve side as he is currently training away from the first team at Sundowns, “Age is not on his side, I don’t know if he is even playing in the reserve league but if he is playing I guarantee you he will go back to his best if he finds another team,” Kowa lamented.
At the peak of his strength, Ngele won the MTN 8 Trophy and the Telkom Knockout with Platinum Stars; back then he was a pricking thorn to Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and his current Club Mamelodi Sundowns. He went on to win two Absa Premiership title, one with Sundowns and the other with Bidvest Wits. As if that was not enough, he added to his list another Telkom Knockout trophy with Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) this week officially unveiled the long awaited German technical expert, Dr. Carolin Bruan, who is expected to be in Botswana for two years. Dr. Bruan is highly skilled in matters of sports, including football.
Dr Bruan is expected to travel to all the 17 regions of the BFA to support the formation and education of youth representative teams. The technical expert is expected to ensure that coaching education and talent identification are of paramount importance in her mandate.
Addressing the media at a press conference in Gaborone this week, BFA CEO Mfolo said Dr Bruan commands an illustrious background in her country, having been a youth and women’s coach. “She has organised courses and held seminars for coaches. She is a doctor in sports science and we are delighted to have a person of her calibre in our midst.” Dr Bruan’s mandate include working closely with the BFA Technical Director, Serame Letsoaka, advising BFA in fields of basic and further training of coaches, including the creation of the coach education system, creating and implementing a program to improve football structure.
For her part Dr Bruan said she has worked in different countries including Gambia for football and academic reasons. “I came here because I saw so many people working hard to improve football in Botswana. I have a PhD and the highest football license in Germany.” Bruan said she is a member of numerous boards in her native country and happens to hold a special CV back in Germany. “Botswana is a special country and I want to develop a structure in Botswana where people can have great football.”
Meanwhile, the BFA Technical Director, Serame Letsoaka said there will be no clash of roles between him and Dr Bruan at Lekidi. Letsoaka said the expert will be focusing on school and regions where she will be developing coaches. “This week we are expecting 60 coaches to be in training at Lekidi. The expert is expected to be travelling around the country as we do not have enough coaches. It is important that we take the course to the people.”
Dr Bruan’s arrival follows a recent visit by another German Football development expert, Christoph Rocholl, who was tasked with coming up with a model of structural development of football talent, from the grass roots in the country. Some of Rochel’s findings included the undeveloped local football pitches and lack of infrastructure. The expert further said football education was severely lacking in the country and he recommended an expert to come and assist in local football structures.
Black Peril made a blazing debut in their first game in the eagerly anticipated Orange FA Cup. After beating Mogoditshane Fighters 5-1 at Tlokweng VDC Grounds, the Tlokweng outfit or Mochacho as they are known, have sent a stern and chilling warning to their future opponents in the knockout tournament. In their second-round game, the team is expected to prove their mettle against a premier league team.
“We came prepared because this team had beaten us in the league last week. I was hoping for a brace and a hat trick was a bonus. I plan to be the top goal scorer of the tournament. I came from Notwane where I did not get enough game time, which is the reason I came here,” said Mosha Tlhaolang. The player, who is already in the running for top goal scorer after his performance, made it clear he was not eyeing the big prize.
“This is my second game, I came here to help the team”
For his part Mochacho Assistant Coach, David Mfolwe said, “This game was a grudge match, we played against these guys last weekend in a league game and we told ourselves that we cannot be beaten twice and we also wanted to proceed to the quarter finals. Mosha does have a chance of fighting for the top goal scorer honours after scoring the hat trick.” Mfolwe said the player is currently on loan from Notwane FC where he was not given a chance to play.” If you look at this cup you can score seven goals and win the prize. If he scores two goals in the next game, he will be in the contention.”
Going forward, Mfolwe says they are hoping to face a Premier league team because we are really ready. “We have been training for this tournament for a while. We are currently fourth on the log and only four points behind the log leaders.” For his part, Muchachos headcoach Kaelo ‘Wire’ Kaelo said, “We are enjoying ourselves, and against a bigger team no one will expect us to win but it will be a good thing to pit my boys against a Premier league team.” Kaelo said the atmosphere is great and both Orange and the premier league should be congratulated.
In a post-match interview, Botswana Football Association Chief Executive Officer, Mfolo Mfolo said the opening FA cup games have been a success, adding that the atmosphere is vibrant and people are relaxed. “For sponsors, there has been commercial value, people are making calls to check the results and the sponsor is gaining mileage,” he said.
“I have just received a call from Mmankgodi, there were 800 tickets printed and I have just been told that they have sold out. We expected the same from Hukuntsi. I did not expect this, every time I go and watch the premier league it’s a sizeable number of people that come to the ground so I am overwhelmed by this.”
Mfolo said this was the first time he attended regional football games. “Going forward I think we can improve as far as managing crowds. I stayed about 15 minutes outside while I was trying to get in. All other aspects are at an average level where there is room for improvement.”
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) is expecting a German football expert to come and assist with some of their structures next month. The expert who is reported to be a doctor in Sports Science is expected to assist the BFA in football development and women’s structures.
This week the BFA Chief Executive Officer, Mfolo Mfolo said the female German expert who will reside in Botswana for four years will arrive in mid-February. “The expert will stay and work in Botswana following an agreement between the German Olympic Committee and the BFA. She is expected to focus on coach education and talent identification,” Mfolo said.
The BFA boss further explained that they had made a proposal through the Botswana Olympic Committee. Mfolo said the expert will arrive at the right time as they are in the process of resuscitating women’s football. “FIFA is coming for the Women’s Football Strategy workshop in February.” Mfolo said the BFA will be responsible for providing housing and local transport for the German expert.
Almost two years ago German Football development expert Christoph Rocholl was tasked with coming up with a model of structural development of football talent from the grass roots in the country. Some of Rochel’s findings include the despaired state of local football pitches and lack of infrastructure. The expert further said football education was severely lacking in the country. In conclusion, Rocholl recommended an expert to come and assist in local football structures.
The 9 million pula broadcasting deal between Botswana Football Association (BFA) and Baboneng Film Productions seems to be a pie in the sky. It has been a good six months since the five- year- deal was announced, however Debswana First Division games are yet to beam live on television.
Baboneng Productions was given Television, radio, print and Internet rights as well as the branding of stadium during matches. Nevertheless, not a single game was broadcast on radio and only one match was televised on Maru TV. The deal was that at the start of the 2018/2019 season, games were to be broadcasted live on Maru TV, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development’s (MYSEC) NOWtv and Local radio station Duma FM.
In fact, BG Sport has learnt that the BFA deal has been revised to involve the airing of the premier league games too. According to reliable reports Baboneng was to work hand in hand with Botswana Television to make the dream a success. A contract between the two parties has already been drawn up.
Things have been stagnant with the biggest monster in the room being insufficient funds. Baboneng was to pay BFA P1.5 million and each team to receive a P50 000 grant at the start of the season.
The BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo confirmed in an interview this week that they are still waiting for the money. Mfolo noted that it appears the company is still experiencing financial difficulties as things might have not turned out as expected with the financier.
“They have not paid yet, however they are in constant communication with us and hopefully a solution will be found in the near future,” he said.The BFA CEO noted that it was a bit disappointing that the deal has not rolled into action as planned, saying they saw a future in it. It would have been history in the making if the games were to beam live on TV.
Quizzed on whether they were not quick to put pen to paper, Mfolo said that the proposal was convincing enough. He added that they will be monitoring the situation closely and want to give the company a fair chance to prove their mettle. “The content they produced during the 2018 Charity Cup was top notch and of high quality, however if all fails, then we will consider the exit clause,” Mfolo said.
Programmes Manager at DUMA FM, Donald Seberane said that they will only broadcast the games if they find a sponsor. He explained that the cost of broadcasting the 65 games stands at P 3 million. An amount the company cannot afford at the moment.
Spokesperson at MYSEC, Thobo Tlhasana said that they have the funds to broadcast the games, however they still have engineering issues. “I am not sure when the games will start airing live on NOWtv,” he said.
As for Baboneng CEO, Kesebonye Seabelo, he remains confident that come high or low, he will live up to his promises. “Whether the heavens are blue or black the proposal I gave BFA still stands and we will not disappoint,” he said. He is confident by the end of February 2019 things will start looking up.
He revealed that most sponsors including Debswana mining Company and Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) would be fully onboard this year. “They had already exhausted their funds and we suffered a setback on funds. It costs about P138 000 per game and the relationship between us and BTV will enable us to save costs as we will produce more than one game in a day,” he said, adding that it is not a one man show as he is working with all the stakeholders, including BFA to find sponsors.
According to fresh information coming out of Botswana Football Association (BFA) this week, the Association is busy looking for a perfect replacement for the senior national team head coach, David Bright who might be sacked anytime soon. BFA spokesperson, Tumo Mpatane has however, laughed off the matter when reached this week, “We are not talking to Zapata, that is false, we have a contract with Bright and not looking for a coach,” he said.
In fact, BG Sport has been reliably informed that one of the candidates that have caught the attention of BFA is Township Rollers Head Coach, Rodolfo Zapata.Nevertheless the Argentine , who is yet to start his work at Rollers, is said to be currently in talks with BFA. According to a source that preferred anonymity at BFA, the Association has lost all the trust in the current coach and will move swiftly to replace him. Performance is dwindling at Zebras and it is totally going against what the BFA had been promising to deliver in recent years.
Bright was appointed as the senior team head coach last year on a three year contract basis. His charges were recently tossed out of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers and according to FIFA rankings, Botswana is currently at position 145.Nevertheless, Bright was addressed as ‘ancient’ by one influential official at BFA when asked what the future holds for the senior team head coach. “We have so much to deal with at the moment, that one is ancient,” the official said.
Zapata who seems to be a man in demand signed a contract with Rollers a month back which according to unconfirmed allegations, runs till 2019. However, he has not resumed work yet as his work permit is said to be pending at the Department of Immigration. On the other side, his former Club Gaborone United (GU) is alleged to have finally made contact with the coach in recent developments asking him to return to GU and complete what he had started before resigning early this year.
GU is alleged to be deliberately sabotaging the deal between Rollers and Zapata by stalling to cancel the work permit,they ( GU) had with Zapata. The GU permit is expected to expire in June 2019. This has since brought matters to a total stand still with Zapata not able to begin his duties at Rollers.
Now as it stands, the decision solely lies with the Argentine coach, GU is reported to be owing him over P300 000 but with the team having reunited with sponsor Nicholas Zackhem, anything is possible. Also this publication can confirm that during his troubled days at GU, Zapata hinted that he admired coaching Rollers, a job he now holds.
He also jokingly said he would not mind coaching the Zebras at one point, now that might just turn out to reality too. The move to the Zebras would not be so far- fetched considering that Zapata mentored some of the current national team squad while at GU. The likes of Mpho Kgaswane, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Alphonse Modisaotsile and Tumisang Orebonye.
BFA has of recent been reinforcing measures and focusing more energy on youth development, the mandate goes in line with the language that Zapata is known for; focusing more on grooming youngsters than relying more on senior players. BG Sport failed to get any response from Zapata as the coach could not respond to all messages sent to him and efforts made to reach him. However he had at an earlier stage said that he was in no position to discuss anything even his contract with Rollers.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana Football Association (BFA) Mfolo Mfolo this week expressed confidence that the national stadium will be ready for Township Rollers’ first game of the 2018 CAF Champions League group stages today (Friday). Rollers locks horns with Kampala Capital City Authority(KCCA) of Uganda.
This follows CAF’s recent inspection of the national stadium. The BFA was requested to ensure that specific demands made by CAF after the inspection should be attended to as soon as possible. The inspection was meant to ensure that the stadium is suitable to host the CAF matches and remain on the list of approved venues for the games.
According to a CAF report received by BFA dated 21st April 2018, the national stadium should among others have team benches consisting of 14 seats each, as chairs are not allowed in the pitch and one covered bench for officials.
CAF demands that sanitary facilities for spectators must be clean and hygienic, the media photographers’ area should be well equipped. In addition, the media tribune should not be in the VIP area and separation must be provided for both sections. Moreover, CAF demands that spectators living with disabilities should not be seated around the playing area. The continental governing body requires that a dedicated area must be created for people living with disabilities in the stands.
Quizzed on whether, the BFA has managed to satisfy the demands of CAF, a confident Mfolo said they are ready to host the mouthwatering encounter. “By Friday morning we will have availed everything that is needed by CAF and I believe that during their next inspection they will approve,” he said. In the report, CAF noted that the national stadium will be monitored during Rollers' game against KCCA game.
Regarding arrangements on the media centre, Mfolo noted that they have a new arrangement for the media, that will ensure that they are not seated next to the VIP section. Meanwhile Rollers spokesperson Bafana Pheto said they are ready to face Uganda tonight and anything is possible. Kickoff is 1900hrs.