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BFA grills Gunners over Tariq’s conduct

Botswana Football Association (BFA)’s secretariat has written a strong warning letter to Lobatse based outfit Extension Gunners to remind its chairman Tariq Babitseng to respect the football constitution, a latest indication that indeed football gloves are out at Lekidi football center.

BFA complains that Tariq Babitseng, a known football soldier of former FA president Tebogo Sebego refuses to receive a compliance letter where he is ordered to retire all the outstanding balances to the association. It is indicated that Babitseng left the association almost 2 years ago after been accused of having his fingers all over the till. Babitseng once served as a Vice President of the association under Sebego‘s administration.

“We write to lodge a complaint against the conduct of one of your committee member Mr Tariq Babitseng. He has been requested to come and explain the financial misappropriation that occurred during his tenure as the NEC member,” part of the letter reads. BFA says it is disturbing that Babitseng refuses without reservation to receive or collect the letter of demand.

“We have written to Mr Babitseng who has unfortunately refused to receive the communication that was delivered to him despite having read the same. We are further informed that Mr Babitseng informed the BFA official he will collect the letter from the BFA offices which he never did despite several telephone calls to him,” the letter states.

BFA informs Gunners that this communiqué is the last resort and they are now preparing to invoke clause 3.17 of the BFA code of conduct which reads in part, “clubs shall take responsibility for any misconduct by their players, supporters, sympathizers etc.
In a parting note, the association warns Gunners to take stern action against their chairman or risks facing the music as a club.

Babitseng’s demise can be traced as back as 2012.

The whole money issue started when the Algerian U17 delegation requested for an extra night at Travel Lodge. Their request was granted on condition that they would refund the BFA during the return leg which was played in Algiers in December 2, 2012. Babitseng was chosen as Head of Delegation (HOD).

When relating his story in a letter addressed to the BFA vice president finance, management and research, Ngele Ngele, on February 25, 2013, Babitseng said the BFA was never part of the agreement between Travel Lodge and the Algerian federation. Tariq said Travel Lodge sent a quotation for an extra night together with their banking details to the BFA after the departure of the Algerian U17 team.

Their explanation for sending the quotation was because they did not know who to invoice.  Notwithstanding the above, Babitseng said in the same letter that he wrote a reminder to the Algerian federation demanding that they settle the bill at Travel Lodge. In Babitseng’s letter dated 27 November 2012 he said “This is to inform you of an outstanding bill that was paid by your delegation during their stay in Botswana. This was for the 6th night as the Botswana Federation paid for their 5 days stay according to FIFA & CAF regulations. We request that you give the money to our Head of Delegation Tokyo Modise”.

Algeria settled the account as they gave Tokyo Modise USD 2 734.00 which he tried to give to the BFA accounts department upon return. According to Babitseng, one Eric Makgale directed Modise to the then acting CEO as the matter did not involve the association but Travel Lodge.  

The former CEO claims that he changed the money into Pulas on December 6, 2012 and deposited P23 300 into Travel Lodge’s account at Banc ABC. “As far as I was concerned the matter was now closed as I had facilitated the payment to Travel Lodge on behalf of the Algerian federation,” Babitseng said in his letter.

He further claimed that by the time the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) settled the bill at the lodge, the P23 300 was not allocated but was left hanging in their books. It also did not appear in the Travel lodge statement sent to BNSC because the lodge had only printed a quotation and not an invoice.

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GU wins title after 13 years

23rd May 2022
GU

Gaborone United was this week crowned 2021/2022 Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions following their 1-0 win over the holders, Jwaneng Galaxy. Thero Setsile’s 13th minute’s goal was enough to seal the league championship, ending 13 years of drought from the Old Naledi outfit.

With two games to go before the top-flight season wraps up, Gaborone United opened a seven points gap to second placed Township Rollers having accumulated 63 points from twenty eight games. The Money machine were the first team to open a new chapter in the history books of Botswana football, when they were crowned the inaugural 2008/09 be Mobile Premiership champions, that came up with P1 million as prize money. Thereafter the club has been on the league drought as it could only manage winning Coca Cola FA Cup in 2012, Mascom top 8 twice in 2013 and 2015. They also won the Orange FA cup last season.

The return of Zackhem as the club financier signaled a new era with a number of galactic signings for the 2021/2022 season. The team brought into their fold big names in local football; Kekaetswe Moloi, Lesego Galenamotlhale and Joel Mogorosi. The arrival of enterprising left wing back Mothusi Johnson, dribbling wizard Mpho Kgaswane and hard tackling midfielder, Lebogang Ditsele made the job easier for the coaches.

Attacker Onkabetse Makgantai also joined the marauding attackers in Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Thero Setsile to make their front line combination the deadliest in the league. Both Kgamanyane and Setsile have netted 34 goals this season with the goal minder Goitseone Phoko keeping 20 clean sheets thus far while conceding just 10 goals. GU is still on the Orange FA Cup race and football commentators believe that they are the favorites looking at the quality of their squad.

As it stands should the Money Machine win all their remaining games, they stand a chance to equal the highest championship winning points record of 76 points which set by Mochudi Center chiefs during the 2007-2008 football season. That record stood for 14 years and Gaborone United could equal that feat should they win their remaining games against Sua Flamingos and struggling Notwane. The Money Machine made the bold statement begging of the 2021/2020 football season when they won 11 games straight games without even conceding a goal.

The Reds, who are under the guidance of Innocent Morapedi, a seasoned coach and his assistant Pontsho Moloi, has been consistent in the title race. In the process, the Old Naledi side has scored 59 goals while conceding the least goals (10 goals) and has a superior goal difference of 49 goals. Gaborone United success breaks Township Rollers and Mochudi Center Chiefs dominance as the only teams to have won the league title more than any other club in the last 13 seasons. GU’s proximity to money and talent were key this season.

Domestically since GU last won the league title, Mochudi Center Chiefs have won it three times; whilst the most decorated football club with 16 titles, Rollers has been dominating the league, winning five titles on the spin in five seasons from 2013-14 to 2018-19.  Last season, Jwaneng Galaxy was crowned champions for the very first time due to being at the top of the table when the novel coronavirus pandemic forced the season to be prematurely halted with ten games to play.

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Sport

Softball returns to play

23rd May 2022
Softball

After two years of no action across various sports codes including softball, Botswana Softball Association (BSA) is going back to the grounds to resuscitate the sport.

This weekend all roads lead to Selibe Phikwe for the top eight ladies championship. The eight ladies teams comprise the top four ladies teams from the south and north regions. They will then come together and form eight teams and battle it out this weekend at the Phikwe Softball Grounds and Area 2 Mowana Ball Park. The competing ladies teams are Titans, Police, Vikings, UB Giants, Rail giants, Scramblers, Carats and Ghetto Yankees. The champions will be crowned thereafter.

Softball Association Public relations officer, Boingotlo Marope explained that this tournament is not only for ladies, she said men’s championship will be held at Gaborone on the 28th May 2022.  She said they have noticed that everything is confined to Gaborone as their headquarters in the southern region. As a result they have decided to take other activities to the northern region as well. “We are trying to grow softball, we don’t want everything to surround Gaborone only which is why the ladies tournament will be held at Selebi Phikwe in the northern region to bring equality.”

However, she explained that the reason they were missing in action is because of Covid 19. “We saw government cautionary trying to protect everyone by putting certain restrictions as spots had to stop for 12 months, we welcomed 12 months to protect Batswana. As a results that lead to the closure as there were no games”.

In addition Marope said they currently don’t have sponsors however private sector has always come through. Bofinet has to cut the sponsorship but that is not due to Covid 19 crisis. “Bofinet has showed commitment, they promised that as soon as they are settled they will come to our door knocking again,” she added.

Marope further said as a results they rely on their tight budget. Few of players has been sponsored, some has to dig from their own pockets, some parents cannot sent their children as some had to quit. “We have worked with our tight budget to assist teams and hoping that in the coming season we can have somebody to assist”.

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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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