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Makhwengwe limps as GU coach

Gaborone United head coach Philemon Makhwengwe will be relieved of his duties any time soon.

This comes only half a season since the local gaffer took over at the helm of Moyagoleele technical bench, WeekendSport has been told. The owners of the club and its management are saying the coach’s failure to adhere to the terms of his contract has led to his looming dismissal.

Makhwengwe is accused of bad mouthing the club he is supposed to love and protect as his employers. He was slapped with a letter of suspension over the weekend and consequently given 7 days to show cause why he should be allowed to lead the club. But when reached for clarity, the club Chairman Boitumelo Nsunge said the coach is on suspension and the team is waiting for his response. He denied that the club will be sacking him.

“We have suspended our coach but reports that we are sacking him are not true, he is still with us and we are waiting for him to reply our letter,” Nsunge said.It seems GU’s patience has finally wilted away because of the coach’s antics. The club will no longer want to sign him again after he was called in to replace Nikola Kavazovic. GU, this season alone, have struggled to keep a lasting coach having initially lost veteran gaffer, Madinda Ndlovu, who suffered from stroke and related heart conditions. The club then hired former Rollers coach, Nikola Kavazovic to help fire an upturn. No sooner had he started winning games when pressure began to mount on him. He was sacked and Makhwengwe replaced him.

However, GU are said to be in advanced discussions to let Makhwengwe go. Nare has also been contacted regarding a deal to replace the Da Phil.But Makhwengwe was said to be contemplating taking his job seriously still, with the club yet to issue any official statement regarding his pending sacking and a firm interest in Nare or any other coach.Before the club's pursuit of Nare emerged, the plan was for the local gaffer to end the season and then have a review at GU. This campaign is said to be led by club funders, Nikola Zakhem who is said to be under pressure from his committee to fire Makhwengwe.

Zakhem and his team are said to be intent that if it is decided at this point to let Da Phil go, there should be a candidate in place who has agreed to the terms of the contract and would be ready to take over immediately to prepare and propel GU back to winning ways. This is the strategy under which Nare was approached, and although by the time of going to print, the team denied they had reached an agreement with him. Discussions between the two parties regarding financial terms and contractual clauses are said to be at the stage where a deal is ready to be signed.

Makhwengwe’s position grew more precarious once he began to constantly complain about this season's transfer buys and the inability to play interesting football with costly investment in the squad. It is now a telling factor in the club's decision to approach someone and suspend him indefinitely.GU are attracted to Nare because of his impressive stewarding of the club Security Systems, where he is still competing for honours, and his personable manner. By all accounts, Nare is a players' coach, described as more humble and possessing the ability to man-manage players to keep them onside and coax winning displays from them.


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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

30th January 2023

With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.

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Clubs petition Zackhem, Jagdish Shah

23rd January 2023

Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.

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P80 million windfall for BFA

9th January 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.

The Forward 3.0 funds – to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.

According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.

“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,” Infantino noted.

The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.

“A contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and referees’ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,” the report indicated.

FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.

Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.

For the specific projects – in the case of Botswana and Namibia – there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.

The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.

When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; “Ours is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.”

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