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Amrouche’s worth revealed

Newly appointed Senior National Team head coach Adel Amrouche, agreed to a staggering P250 000 monthly pay-check with the Botswana Football Association (BFA), a revelation that marks the Belgian coach as the highest paid gaffer in the history of Botswana football.

Sources claim that Amrouche was first given P150 000, an offer which he out rightly rejected, before he upped and left for a holiday. He however, gave the association a ‘take it or leave it’ proposition, only to be contacted a week later with news that his monetary whims will be met with. The Belgian has since signed a two year deal with the association. The recruitment panel was convinced that the gaffer had to be adequately satisfied at the negotiating table, for him to bring optimal results in the field of play.

Amrouche, is by far the most experienced foreign coach of the African game to be hired by the association. This discovery now means that finances, have once again, played a critical part during the thought process of the association. Sports analysts and observers do not doubt that the association will come up with the monies to pay the country’s most expensive coach yet, there are however, presentiments that the coach is being paid a king’s ransom for targets which are arguably within reach for a professional of his caliber. Amrouche is expected to win the COSAFA senior Cup next year and also reach the finals of African Cup of Nations (AFCON), which will be held in Cameron in June 2021, a target believed to be a walk in the park for him. The qualifying rounds are expected to commence in October of this year.

While he is anticipated to improve the country’s FIFA rankings, Amrouche is also expected to apply himself well on the qualifying rounds of the football world cup.  This coming weekend will have many Botswana football supporters waiting in bated breath, as the spotlight will be on  Amrouche, to show case his talent as coach and proof his money’s worth; when he and his team to go up against The Flames of Malawi. Remarkably, Amrouche’s salary far surpasses that of former Coach Peter James Butler, who remains the only coach to have taken The Zebras to the finals of the COSAFA cup. Butler was interviewed and agreements were made to pay him P85 000 per month. His basic salary was to be P70 000, P14 000 as housing allowance, with P 1 000 as cell phone allowance. But like Amrouche, he declined the offer until the association got back to him with a new and higher pay which saw him smiling all the way to the bank with P91 000, as his salary. Unfortunately, BFA expects to face public backlash over the scale tipping salary of Amrouche. The Botswana head coach has worked with East African giants of Burundi and Kenya, together with Libya, before accepting Botswana’s call. Even though he had more challenges to take on in his portfolio during his term as head coach, Bright, (Botswana’s head coach in 2016), will now be seen as the least paid. 

Stanley Tshosane, the only local coach to have reached the finals of AFCON, earned close to P70 000. But his stock rose after taking the squad to AFCON showpiece of 2012. Both Julesic Vaseline and Colwyn Rowe – who all came before Tshosane- were offered deals higher than that of Bright, but never close to that of Amrouche.  Vaseline agreed to a measly P65 000 during his term, while Rowe agreed to close the deal close with P80 000.


2019- Amrouche -P250 000

2016- Bright- P 60 000

2013- Butler- P 91 000

2010- Tshosane – P 70 000

2005- Rowe – P 80 000

2002- Vaselin—P 65 000

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Rollers make digital strides

11th June 2021

A recent study shows that Township Rollers is not only popular within the perimeters of Botswana, but has also made significant steps within the digital football platforms in Africa.

Out of the 70 African football clubs ranked on the African football digital benchmark, Township Rollers comes on the 35th position backed by a massive social media following. The club website records more than 399 000 followers and is seen as the most interactive in the local game.

This is consistent with the recent study conducted by FIFA- world football governing body- that Rollers is the only team locally that makes use of its digital platforms.

Notably, it comes out that the gap between Township Rollers and the rest of the 15 Premier League clubs is abysmal, this therefore works against creating a strong BPL brand value.

Rollers is the only club with more than 50 000 followers on Facebook, more than 20 000 followers on Twitter while its Instagram platform stands strong at 27 800 followers.

However, it is found out that much of the BPL brand value is killed by some social Facebook football fan accounts.  They have stood long and have thus attracted more followers than the official accounts. Pages like Killers Pass and Botswana Football have consequently seen more than 100 000 following. Both of the accounts give 24 hour on-going updates of football’s latest news, transfers, results, video and live updates.

FIFA has therefore come to a conclusion that the two social media pages have grown interactive since they incite followers to answer and present their impressions about local football.

It comes into the open that 70 percent of domestic premier league clubs do not have official websites. This according to FIFA, kills the brand and visibility of clubs hence failure to attract lucrative sponsors by the clubs. FIFA also found out that the remaining 30 percent of clubs with websites are lacklustre and found wanting when it comes to their online presence. But in this regard, Rollers is on pole position.

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GU finally snatches Ditsele

3rd June 2021
Lebogang Ditsele

Hard tackling midfielder, Lebogang Ditsele has completed a move from Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions, Jwaneng Galaxy, to Gaborone United in a reported lucrative two-year deal, WeekendSport can confirm.

The Reds have finally made their move for their long-time target and the enterprising midfielder is said to be happy to have completed the transfer after a heavy fall out with Galaxy management.

He wants to play football that pays, something which Galaxy cannot offer and the allure of GU was certainly too much for Ditsele to turn a blind eye.

The team as led and directed by construction magnate, Nicholas Zakhem- who is reported to have given ‘CCTV’ a mouth-watering P30 000 per month plus winning bonuses contract in demonstration of their seriousness to win silverware.

Sometime in March, the industrious player gave Galaxy an ultimatum-to either improve his contract benefits or let him go-after a decision was taken to offer the whole team pay cuts amid the devastating effects of the corona virus pandemic.

Galaxy had arrived at a conclusion of giving each player P 3000 until a time football returns to the field with moneyed sponsorships.

“We are proud to have signed him because he will add quality to our squad once football returns. Always a quality player and like him and he is now available, you don’t say there is no football, you tie him down before other clubs beat you to his signature,” said club Director, Nicholas Zakhem.

It is believed that Ditsele has always recognized GU as one of the country’s leading clubs, capable of competing for the grandest prizes. Ditsele was at Gilport Lions before he was snatched up by Galaxy and now GU.  His moves come as no surprise as his dream has always been to play for high paying clubs.

No doubt, Ditsele has enjoyed his years at Galaxy, where he is feted by the supporters, but the lad has always felt that the time is right to move on. Ditsele leaves having a year left on his contract.

It is impossible to dispute the value and service that he has given to the club, with the last season being his best, winning the premiership title.

Once Galaxy has sent him to overseas club at Highlands Park but returned home after a short stint.

However, the fan favourite, who has had an on and off relationship with the national team, The Zebras, was never going to be held by the terms of his contract.

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No injury problems for Amos

2nd June 2021
Nijel Amos

Despite encountering an injury scare ahead of the IAAF Diamond League circuit this week, Nijel Amos’ Olympic dream is still on track and he remains ever capable to stun the world by replicating his famous feat at the 2012 Olympic Games.

This was confirmed by his coaches and doctors after the Botswana star suffered a minor calf injury that forced him out of the weekend race. The multiple conqueror of 800m races is expected back on the track on June 9th to shake off this injury scare and face the possibilities of winning another Olympic medal. This likelihood only has one month to go!

Amos remains the only Motswana athlete to ever win a medal at the Olympic Games, a rare but magnificent accomplishment that still lingers in the memory of Botswana sport fraternity. At the time, he was only 18 years and strange enough, that silver medal felt like Gold for many.

His anticipated presence at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is on course to renew the long standing rivalry between him and the Kenyan 800m world record holder, David Rudisha. This is the same Kenyan competitor who won Gold when Botswana’s Amos came second in a race that would become the toast of the competitions at the London Olympics.

However, two years later, at 2014 Commonwealth Games, Amos dethroned Rudisha in another breath-taking race that confirmed and sparked the ongoing thrilling competitiveness — filled with pleasure, pain and sporting hatred- between the two.

When Amos was beaten in London, he never cared who won the race but was ecstatic to have finished at the podium, writing his name into Olympic Game folklore.

But in Glasgow, for Rudisha, defeat seemed not to have diminished his hopes. After the finish, when the lacerations were sharpest and the wound deepest, Rudisha was pictured hugging Nijel Amos, and congratulating him for a job well done.

Then, Amos was just 20 years, oozing with confidence. The shy looking Rudisha wrapped a Kenyan flag around his back and went on a lap of honour to celebrate his silver medal.

If there was disappointment Rudisha masked it with the skill of an actor. He smiled and waved as he received a standing ovation. “Amos is a tough competitor and he was very good,” Rudisha once admitted, stating matters of sporting facts that would follow between the two runners. Win. Lose. Win. Lose.

But then, there have been echoes of a swollen Muhammad Ali after his defeat to Joe Frazier, winking at the hundreds of fans who had converged at his hotel, determined to show light on his darkest day. The bruises on that day were to Rudisha’s record, not his face. Like Ali, he promised to be back.

But that night was about Amos. A callow 18-year-old who finished second to Rudisha at London 2012 sharpened his confidence, hardened by beating his idol twice on the Diamond League circuit, grew with each passing year.

However, both athletes began to suffer sporting injuries of their own, they lost the edge they were well-known for and it is why at the 2016 Olympic Games, the bookmakers were upset when they could not meet at the final. It was Amos who faltered in the heats and although Rudisha became the first Kenyan to retain an Olympic title, it was not as scintillating as it was in 2012.

Now with a month to go, Amos is living in prayer, hoping he stays free from injuries. He is looking forward to become the star again. He has won everything at the diamond league and broke every national record, but his eyes are still fixed on the ultimate prize- the Gold medal at the international stage, with or without David Rudisha.

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