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Storm clouds gather at Jwaneng

A sense of impending upheaval has rarely been far from the surface at Jwaneng Galaxy during its turbulent years, so even if Manuel Da Costa has been taken aback by recent developments, the signs are familiar to old guard of players and coaches alike.

Galaxy started the season in an uncompromising mood, winning all their first four games. This put them on pole position and were without a cloud on the horizon, but a little more than four weeks later, having claimed only three points from two matches, the team finds itself below rivals, Township Rollers and Orapa United  while Da Costa glances nervously over his shoulder in fear of being stabbed in the back.

 The official word from within Jwaneng side is, of course, that Da Costa has nothing to worry about. The word from elsewhere — some of it filtering down from the followers and advisers who are privy to the management’s thoughts and mood swings — is far less reassuring: that being a foreign coach in all conceivable ways has not been good enough to make Da Costa any less vulnerable than his predecessors. When the coach was asked about the poor results, he blamed his assistant coach. Jwaneng Galaxy had to act.

Last season alone, after 11 games, Galaxy were on the second position with 18 points, 10 behind log leaders Township Rollers. At the same stage now, Galaxy are on spot number 5 having collected 20 points and are trailing log leaders Rollers by 12 points. For the management that has gone into commercialisation, partly led by Njabulo Gilika, there is an enormous difference between coveting an ambitious coach and installing him at the side where the mood is low.

 There is little to encourage the belief that open-minded coaches like Mike Sithole would be tempted again by Galaxy, so for now the story is merely that the coach and his assistant are being undervalued by the “lovers” of the team.Has this sudden, unnecessary sense of unrest, beginning with the inability of the team to push long serving assistant coach, Matshidiso Moseki to the top post, who some clearly views with caution, been responsible for Galaxy’ recent difficulties?

It is hard to suggest it is the main factor when it is clear former captain Boitumelo Mafoko and maybe Thabang Sesenyi, both playing elsewhere, have been more sorely missed in a season that threaten to  promise no honour for the team.  But, as was abundantly clear in the years that separated its 2016 Mascom top 8 success, turbulence behind the scenes helps nobody. As a survivor of the early years under different management, Captain Olebogeng Malebje is better qualified than most to put Galaxy’s recent troubles into perspective.

 But the major worry for Galaxy is that the new management of the club, whom many argue is sometimes set priorities wrong, is reportedly insisting in their mission of cost cutting exercise. This publication has gathered that the management is willing to cut salaries of old grown players where a couple of them might as well as leave before the axe fall on them.

 It is reported that the management  is fuming that such players whose name are known to this publication-with 30 or more years are slowly becoming a liability. Galaxy’s media liaison Archibald Ngakayagae liaison refuted such allegation in an interview and called for calm as they sort themselves.

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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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