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BFA justifies Amrouche’s value

The news of Adel Amrouche’ stupendous salary should have never come at a time when the Senior National Team, The Zebras, endured a spirit-dumping elimination from the ongoing World Cup 2022 qualifiers against The Flames of Malawi.

Somewhere, around and far away from Lekidi Football Center, it   is quickly turning into a live trial for both the players and the coaching staff. Amrouche signed a two year deal with the Botswana Football Association (BFA), with a salary scale reaching a P 250 000 mark. The association’s representatives still distance themselves from Amrouche’ salary.  They are however steadfast in their insistency that “good things do not come cheap.’’

Amrouche, a gaffer appointed to overhaul and turn around the fortunes of the Botswana game within two years, has played back-to back games against Malawi and came out of the tie scathed. No goals, no win. However, increasingly—and predictably so—the team’s head coach is expected to become a living embodiment of the monumental task ahead. Malawi and world cup dreams have come and gone. Questions are now flying from everywhere trying to scrutinize the massive disparity between his priceless treatment and his lukewarm results. But it is too early.

With this in hand, many critics may feel further emboldened to ask for radical changes in high places of Botswana football. But while Amrouche’s job is obviously a thankless one, the association’s reaction amid the coach’s pay cheque is with surprising composure. Without dwelling much on his salary, BFA’s file and rank members say coaches are slowly becoming expensive to purchase. “There are no shorts cut to success, if we want positive results, we have to acquire tried and experienced coaches,” one member said.

It is indeed expensive. In Southern Africa and the whole continent, the confirmation that football has become mad with sky rocketing salaries still stand. Zambian football federation two weeks ago, announced that their Ministry of Sports has approved a salary scale of their head coach. The figure stands at P 250 000.  Julesic Vaseline, a Serbian born gaffer who was turned down by BFA, might get the job. Zambia, like Botswana, craves for AFCON qualification.

In 2016, as Zimbabwe traversed the redemption road, and paid their former coach Calisto Pasawa, a staggering P210 000 salary. This is according to Newsday sources in the country. The Warriors, as Zimbabwe is called, are of course the dominant force of the South African game and have appeared in the last two editions of AFCON finals. The side, together with Zambia has been pitted against Botswana to fight for the qualification ticket into AFCON 2021.

 Ricardo Mannetti of Namibia was earning 150 000 in Pulas and took his native country into the finals of the last AFCON edition. In South Africa, Steward Baxter, prior to his fall, was getting a monthly salary of 728 000 in Pulas. News24 confirmed his salary in 2018. Although he complained a lot that it is lower than what Pitso Mosimane was getting, he managed to take the country to the last edition of AFCON finals.

The Times Group, a publication in Malawi, reported that their most expensive coach was hired in June 2015 and was earning 320 000 in Pulas. In West and North African countries, the scales are high. It is not surprising that these parts of the continent are the kings and rulers of the African game. Ghana appointed Coach James Appiah, with a monthly salary of 300 000 in Pulas. They say it is one of the lowest in the region. How remarkable for a country that has won the African cup 4 times!

Egypt, the standing giants of the African game with 7 titles, paid Javier Aguirre a whopping 1 296 000 in Pulas. His monthly wages were increased after he took the nation to the world cup finals last year but only to be sacked after failing to win the AFCON title on home soil earlier this year. Cameroon, after winning the 2017 edition, also followed suit. They went for the signature of Clarance Seedorf, paying him 1 152 000. While some are sacked before delivering, what remains at the present moment is that “the tone is set” and Botswana is following suit.

Southern African Coaches and Salaries
South Africa- P 728 000
Zambia –       P 250 000
Namibia-       P 125 00
Zimbabwe- P210 000
Angola       P 325 000
Swaziland P 40 000
Malawi P 320 000

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Botswana ranked 4th in Zone 4 boxing tourney

4th May 2022
Boxing

The Botswana national boxing team recently returned from the zone 4 championship held in Mozambique. The team was led by head coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, two assistant coaches, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi. Two referees and judges, Gaseitsewe Ponatshego and Linda Mooketsi.

In the women’s category, Lethabo Modukanele was representing Botswana in the 48 kg division, while Phekie Bele and Sadie Kenosi were competing in the 57 kg and 60 kg categories, respectively. In the men’s category, Kobamelo Molatlhegi was representing the country in the 52 kg division, while Rajab Mahomed was competing in the under 51 kg category.George Molwantwa was competing for under 57 kg category and Treasure Moremi was competing for under 60kg category.

The boxers came home with seven medals, Modukanele came home with a gold medal, Kenosi, Rajab, Molatlhegi all came home with silver medals. While Moremi, Molwantwa and Phekie Bele all came home with bronze medals.

According to Moitshepi Nkabiti, the public relations officer of the Botswana Boxing Association, the team performed well and that they were hoping that Rajab would also bring home a gold medal. However, due to an eye injury, he could not participate in the finals.

He stated that, “though some people might think that how our team performed is not an achievement it is a big achievement to us. Other countries came with 19 boxers while we only came with our seven boxers, and they all came back with medals. That is something that we have to be proud of I really commend them for their performance. Having 5 players making it to the finals is really a blessing and we should not take it for granted.”

According to Nkabiti, Botswana was ranked fourth in the zone 4 championship, which was held in Mozambique. Other countries that participated in the tournament included South Africa, Zambia, Eswatini, and Seychelles. They all had a total of 19 boxers. Lesotho also had eight boxers.

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Mascom Charity Cup raised P500K

4th May 2022
Mascom Charity Cup

The first Mascom Charity Cup spectacular has come and gone. The football event played at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium saw four football clubs playing one-day tourney with various charity centres being beneficiaries of the gate takings.

While the attendance was not at the expected level, it is said that the sponsor has made a killing with close to P500 000 made from voting lines. Football followers were asked to vote for teams of their choice, and top four clubs were eligible to play. A single sms voting line cost P 1.50.

Gaborone United became the most voted team with 62 984 votes followed by Security Systems with 51 027. On the third spot was BDF XI with 48 596 votes while Orapa United came forth with 44 401. Shockingly, Township Rollers did not make it after gathering a total of 30 637 votes, with BR Highlanders ahead of them having seen 44 204 votes to their name.

It is said, however that, the initiative live to expectation as clubs together with the sponsor have managed to assist charities of their choices. Mascom is believed to be happy for identifying beneficiaries and getting value for their money.

The mobile network company is still the longest standing partners of local football, having first tasted waters in 2005. The company now powers the Top 8 competition and said to have renewed the dame sponsorship at a value not exceeding 18 million. The Mascom Charity Cup was not the first to be hosted by a mobile network company.

In 2018, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) hosted a similar event in which followers had to vote. The four participating teams were Mochudi Center Chiefs, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Township Rollers. GU were the eventual winners.

It is however not clear if the tournament will continue in the next football calendar, but what goes down into the history books is that Teenage Mpote and Orapa United were the first to win it.
In previous years, there have been an off season tournament whose aim was meant for charity purposes. The tourney was called Kabelano Charity Cup and was usually played by four big teams (Rollers, Notwane, GU and Chiefs) without taking the voting routes. It was last hosted in 2015 and had Barclays as the sponsors.

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Sport

Golden boot race intensifies

4th May 2022
Sesinyi vs Kgamanyane

Yet another thrilling showdown is expected between the country’s hottest strikers, Thabang Sesinyi of Jwaneng Galaxy and Thataoyaone Kgamanyane of Gaborone United, as the duo are eyeing for the 2021/2022 Golden boot.

With only four Botswana Premier League (BPL) games left, the race for the honours is rolling towards a thrilling climax, but for two individuals there is a race for an accolade of their own taking place that could easily go down to the final minutes of the season. Leading the pack with 19 goals is Jwaneng Galaxy talisman, Sesinyi who is one goal apart from Kgamanyane who has netted 18 goals thus far.

Both players have their eye on the golden boot, hoping that their respective teams have fixtures to put them in with a realistic chance of catching up, or leaving the other behind. The Money Machine is currently at the summit of the BPL log with 61 points while the mining giant, Galaxy are trailing on the third place with 49 points, having played 24 games thus far.

Both teams (GU and Galaxy) are expected to face each other towards the end of the season, as the initial fixture was postponed due to Galaxy’s involvement in CAF championship group stages.
With 19 goals chalked up for the season so far, Sesinyi is just one goal away from Kgamanyane who led the race for the better part of the campaign.  Sesinyi who is on freakish scoring form has scored four goals in his last two games; a hat trick against Prisons XI and a goal against Sua Flamingoes in the midweek fixture.

But there is no doubt that  Sesinyi is no longer playing to carry his team, Galaxy, as realistically there is a slim chance for them to clinch the 2021/2022 season, but he is eyeing the Golden Boot Award when the league falls off.

Kgamanyane has begun the season in tremendous form; scoring every time he is given a chance, while Sesinyi, on the other hand, reached the peak of his form in the second round of the season; scoring both in the domestic league and also on the CAF Champions’ league group stage. He featured on team of the week on February.

Furthermore, the Money Machine attacker showed some growth as his conversion rate has been on a rising graph in the games he has so far played. Although Kgamanyane’s goal scoring prowess has been there for everyone to see, the player has been hampered by injuries. It promises to be a fascinating battle between the duo.

Meanwhile, BPL this week announced that they will hold the 2021/2022 awards. The league has since added seven new categories to take the total number of categories to 16. Among some new categories are the Defender of the Season and Midfielder of the Season awards. There are also two more awards for the administrators, as the league has included Team Manager of the Season and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Season awards.

The best performing players in this campaign will be included in the Premier League Best XI.  Nevertheless, match day officials have also been recognised with the introduction of two more categories in the young Referee of the Season and the Female Referee of the Season. Furthermore, BFL CEO Solomon Ramochotlhwane indicated that the awards will be held on the 25 June 2022, just after the 2021-2022 season comes to an end.

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