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BFA identifies Bright successor

Botswana Football Association (BFA) has secretly begun a head hunting exercise for the Senior National Team coach. Indications filtering through are that it has its eyes set on its former mentor Veselin Jelušić or unnamed coach who hails from Russia.

WeekendSport has established that either by hook or crook, the Maclean Letshwiti led regime is more than willing to commit to a foreign coach, and of course settle for the local as its assistant coach. This came to the fore after the BFA National Executive Committee (NEC) decided a fortnight ago that the current coach has recorded unsatisfactory results and should now show cause why he should not be fired.

While BFA remains tight-lipped regarding the national team coach issue, this publication is informed that an interim coach is to be appointed after comprehensively dealing with the issue of Major Bright. ‘Vasco’ as affectionately known in Botswana coached The Zebras from 2002 to 2006 and arguably remains the best mentor to have drilled the squad. The Serbian coach once resurfaced this time in club football with South African team, Bloemfontein Celtic but resigned due to financial difficulties.

However, there remains a strong possibility that an identified Russian coach may take the plum post. A key consideration at the BFA is a possible public or media backlash when it approaches the Serbian, particularly that he has long departed international football scene.
Sources indicate that Bright is furious about the manner in which his case is handled. BFA feels the coach has failed to turn around the fortunes of the country.

But in whatever way, the local football body is ready and prepared for hostile response from some quarters. Even if many admired the former Gaborone United mentor, the BFA seems unmoved in its determination that ‘Fakuda’ as he is known in football circles has failed on his undertakings.  The football regime is said to be willing to interview and agree possible terms with a foreign coach as soon as possible to start assembling and drilling the depleted national squad.

However, the Serbian does need little introduction. His first African experience as a national team coach was of course with Botswana but he has also made strides with Angola. Across, Africa, and in terms of prize affordability, the association feels mentors like Veselin are affordable and capable. Back then, he earned US$8 000, an equivalent of P96 000 but he might be convinced to receive US$5 000 or P60 000.

Certainly, they are those who are saying Veselin and the Russian mentor fit the mould of what the BFA would want from the head coaches and they will easily accept a new significant involvement at Lekidi Football Centre. They are also highly regarded within CAF, although they may not be the kind of high-profile appointment that are expected.

Although selecting the Serbian man or the Russian mentor would mean a lower salary than any other foreign coach, the BFA is adamant that finances would never play a part in their thinking. Nobody at the helm of the association is willing to discuss the issue of Bright let alone of the incoming mentor.

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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”


By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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