Rollers pursue Ngele
Township Rollers are determined to momentarily rescue Mogakolodi Ngele’s frustrating situation at Mamelodi Sundowns and sign him on a loan deal that will span for six months, from January to June of 2019. The high flying club that is run by multi-millionaire Jagdish Shah is eager revive the talent of their former attacking player but are also mindful of impending offers that are within his sights.
At the time of going for print, reports stated that Soweto giants, Orlando Pirates were preparing a deal he can never reject. It is said Pirates are privy of Tsotso’s uncomfortable situation at the Tshwane based outfit hence plotting a permanent January move. Rollers hope that Ngele will join partly on loan, and he will sign to play, not to inspire, as he still has age on his side. The club recruits say that there is no option built into the deal for him to join them after his deal lapses.
Sundowns over the years has developed a hard nose when negotiating for Ngele. It is said the Brazilians still admire the Botswana international but are not eager to hold discussions over his future soon. However, Sundowns are set to lose the left-footed midfielder for free because his contract is six months away from the expiry date. Effective from next month, Ngele is free to sign a pre-contract with a team of his choice.
On one hand, it is believed that Ngele still recognizes Pirates as one of South Africa’s leading clubs, capable of competing for the grandest prizes. In the event of leaving Sundowns for good, whom he joined from Botswana’s Township Rollers, he has always dreamt of playing for a rich paying club with more game time.
He has enjoyed his years at Sundowns as a professional where he is loved by the supporters, but feels that the time is right to move on. It is impossible to dispute the value and service that he has given to the club. Twice Sundwons loaned him to different teams, first to BidVest Wits where he helped them win the league and secondly to Supersport United where also aided them to avoid relegation.
However as the fan-favourite, who has had an on and off relationship with the national team, Zebras, is still contracted to Sundowns and Mosimane is yet make a pronouncement on his future. Those close to developments mention that Ngele is not shocked by the stubborn position held by Pitso Mosimane and Sundowns. It’s not clear if Sundowns will surely hate losing such a prized possession to their fiercest rivals. Both teams have traded players before. Wayne Sandilands and Asabela Mbekile have left Sundowns for Pirates while Oupa Manyisa crossed the floor from Pirates to Sundowns- a scenario that gives Ngele and his negotiators adequate hope.
Zebras head Coach Major David Bright has entered affray regarding Tsotso’s lack of game time. He has made his concerns to Mosimane and Sundowns that Ngele is an international player who deserve more attention. Ngele’s domestic stock rose quickly while at Rollers in 2012. He had a successful season with Gaborone giants under the leadership of Somerset Gobuiwang where he won the Mascom top title and the maiden golden boot before Platinum Stars snatched him.
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It’s do or die for Zebras
The senior national team, the Zebras, is currently in Equatorial Guinea to for an African Cup of Nations Qualifiers tie. Before they departed, the team’s coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, had his troops train in Morocco. This was through the agreement between the two countries.
The agreement between the BFA and the Fédération Moroccan Football Association states that the two nations will work together to organize friendly matches between their respective national teams. It also allows the establishment of football camps for the youth categories (U-15, U-17, and U-20), this includes women’s national teams.
The national team has played over 180 minutes in its two qualifying matches against Tunisia and Libya. Currently, the Zebras, Lesotho and Liberia are the only teams that haven’t scored yet in the competition (this is correct by press time on Friday).
Before the match against Equatorial Guinea match, the local boys who were once known as the whipping boys of Africa in the early 2000s, were languishing at the bottom of the log standings in group J. They lost their first match away to Libya on June 1, 2022. However, they managed to salvage a point against Tunisia last year.
Before the team left for Equatorial Guinea, coach Mpote urged his players to focus on keeping their hopes of making a return trip to the AFCON finals alive after an 11 year absence since the maiden appearance in 2012. He noted that they would not allow their opponents to score and would ensure that they would get a draw.
Despite the various changes that have occurred in the two countries’ football landscape, the two teams have only met once before. In 2010, the local boys defeated the Equatorial Guinea team in a friendly match, which ended in an emphatic win for the visitors. Since then, the two sides have realised different fortunes in FIFA rankings, with Equatorial Guinea ranked 51 places above the Zebras.
Meanwhile, in their last six games, Guinea has only managed to win one of them. They drew with Rwanda and Togo in September 2022 friendlies. They have found the back of the net just twice in their six games. On the other hand, the Zebras, won one match against Zambia and lost four on their way to finishing at the bottom of the group with four points. At the conclusion of their previous AFCON campaign, the local boys traveled to Zambia and secured a draw.
Despite the recent results of the Guinean team, which have only managed to draw with Rwanda and Togo in their last six matches, coach Mpote is still confident that his team will perform well against the hosts.
According to the head coach, the local boys have the necessary skills and resources to perform well against any country. He noted that the team’s coaches have been studying abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects of football.
“Tactically they should also be ready. We need your (Botswana fans) usual support, when we come back from Equatorial Guinea, we will go to Francistown, and we will need you. You are our 12th player, and you are very important to us.”
OBED ITANI CHILUME STADIUM CERTIFIED
This week, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Tuelo Serufho revealed that the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium will host the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the local boys and Equatorial Guinea. The venue had initially failed an inspection test conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). However, following the completion of the necessary works, the stadium was allowed to host the match.
According to BNSC Chief, Tuelo Serufho, the various requirements that the stadium must meet included having a designated parking area for the media and spectators, as well as having signage that will guide the spectators. He also noted that the venue now has a world-class media area.
Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society
Township Rollers, one of the country’s most decorated football clubs with 15 premier league titles, is finding itself in a precarious situation as its long-term chief financier, Jagdish Shah, threatens to dump them if the society does not bow down to his demand of forfeiting their 20 percent interest in the company.
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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon
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.