Daniel ‘Chicco’ Nare’s dream of finishing off as the finest mentor of this season’s Mascom Top 8 competition were punctured Saturday afternoon when Township Rollers drove the final nail to his coffin at the Francistown Sports Complex.
Just a few days after his side lost to Township Rollers, Orapa United management instituted a brief investigation and uncovered that their assistant coach, Nare played a dangerous role that saw the team eventually losing to rivals Rollers â€• a finding that risked his place at the Orapa based outfit. At press time this paper had learnt that the club was preparing to sack the former Extension Gunners mentor who is now redeployed to head the youth structures.
Sources told WeekendSport that a few days before the final; Nare approached the management and asked that he be allowed to lead the team to the fateful final because he stood a better chance of winning the coveted coach of the season award. It appears that his plea threw the club between a rock and a hard place since an agreement had already been hatched with head coach Bongani Mafu. Sources however feel that Nare was on the rails to shape this consideration more because he almost single-handedly led the club to the finals.
Nobody knows exactly what transpired between the assistant coach and the Orapa United management, but sources say Nare has been under intense scrutiny the day he signed for the mining giants. Reports say cases of late coming have been dangerously hovering over his head and the decision to alter the training times irked those who run the team. He was accused of coming late during his first game against Township Rollers and the second time was against BDF XI.
But it is said the final straw that broke the camel’s back came on the eve of the Mascom Top 8 final when the starting first XI was ultimately announced. Sources say head coach Bongani Mafu passed the line up to club manager Patrick Motsepe to print it. But those inside the ‘United circle claim that Nare felt that he was not consulted and therefore forced changes almost immediately.
Goalkeeper Mosimanegape Roberts was to start the game on the bench together with right back player Kealeboga Molebatsi. But Nare dragged them into the starting XI, substituting Josephs and Obonye Moswate. The development, according to information before Orapa United management meant that both Mafu and Nare were not in agreeing terms as of going to the final. It is further said that Mafu suggested to Nare and the rest of the technical committee in the dugout that goalkeeper Roberts be substituted basing on his match fitness. Mafu, sources say was irritated by the manner in which the goalkeeper conceded what was Roller’s second goal.
Mafu’s suggestions were out rightly dispelled by Nare, whom sources say countered that even midfielder Tapiwa Nyamandiva be taken out, a reply that appeared to shock Mafu. Reports say the coach argued that Nyamandiva was one of the best players on the day and could never be substituted. It is claimed that Chico was not surprised by Mafu’s response and the fact that both Nyamandiva and Mafu are ‘homeboys’â€• which was immediately seen as a case of favouritism according to sources who were close to developments.
Subsequent to United losing the game, the management, it is said, is now on a firing mood. Coach Mafu is expected to appear before the committee for failing to tame and control his assistant, Nare. Mafu is also expected to provide answers as to why he let the team spend another night in Francistown contrary to an agreement that the team should return to Orapa right after the encounter. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Roberts might also be summoned, and the fact that he failed to come for training does not help his case.
According to Nare, on Tuesday night at Itekeng stadium after training, Vice-chair Nkape addressed players on the Francistown trip and told them as of Wednesday 07/03/18 “I am no longer the assistant coach of Orapa united”. He said the vice-chair went on to question how two coaches could wear suits on the bench creating confusion as to who the head was, especially because the assistant didn't perform warm up duties.
Further, Nare revealed that Nkape is said to have said he saw him (Nare) in conversation with the Rollers coach, laughing and “kissing me on the cheek at the press box when I should have been addressing the players”. “He later on told the players that they will decide where to deploy me and further told the players that by removing me from the first team was not the end of the world for me as I will be called to appear before the board to explain my suit wearing, Nikola’s kiss and differences on the bench pertaining to subs and game reading,” are said.
Further, the former Extension Gunners mentor added: “I am not sure if this is how suspension should be carried out if indeed it is suspension. I think out of respect for each other I should have been called to the office separately and advised of my suspension and save me the humiliation in front of my players.” He continued: “My take is that I have been embarrassed, humiliated and belittled in front of my players over a simple administrative issue.”
Nare also said he had heard over the radio through the club PRO that he had been suspended, but that without a hearing and without a letter, he believed “Mr Chair was addressing the players not me”. “I now don't know what my defence will be at that board hearing because I have been tried, judged and sentenced in front of the players so my cause of natural justice has been compromised to say the least.”
Further, he said that he was also aware that additional charges had been added (that of remaining behind in Ghetto to watch the Tafic/BDF game). He said he however stayed behind because he knew he would play both in a row the following week and because he wanted to collect his suit form th bus. He insists he had informed coach Mafu of all these.
“As I stand and wait defenceless, my respect for Mr Nkape remains solid and I thank him for the chance he afforded me to coach this great bunch of players,” he however highlighted. In conclusion, he said, “I reiterate that I did nothing and I stand to be dismissed a free soul and am proud of the contribution I did to this team thus far.”
The negotiations involving Botswana Football Association (BFA) and Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) over elite league sponsorship have suffered a setback as the local brewer this week took what it termed a ‘difficult’ decision to shut down operations.
This effectively means that football sponsorship is back in its dark corner as all efforts to go back to the field take another nasty twist in the midst of ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is regrettable that this latest total ban on alcohol sales has resulted in the suspension of KBL operations, which will remain in place for as long as the alcohol ban persists. KBL continues its efforts to engage government on this critical issue, which is having an enormous impact on the industry and its extensive value chain,” the company explained.
Although not proudly maintained at Lekidi Football Centre, the company is said to have abandoned talks on explanations revolving around ‘lack of funds.’In the initial agreement, sources say that it was settled that KBL would sponsor the Botswana Football League at a tune of P30million for a period of three years.
It is maintained that the deal was to be relooked and redefined to fit the sponsorship modalities of today’s game.Highly placed sources speaking with this publication however state that BFA is assisting BFL to cajole other companies to come on board as football is about to return to the field.
Top of the list is ABSA Bank who have remained afloat despite the impacts of the virus. The bank is said to be committed to football but sources say it will take a considerable amount of persuasion to see the bank increasing sponsorship.
KBL, in the first phase, were willing to commit without much difficulties but after the storm of COVID-19, the company was to take a back seat and played a waiting game. They reasoned that the continuous lockdown the country has gone under has left them with little income than expected.
But according to sources, KBL is still expressing pleasure to engage with the association again and will further illustrate their willingness to come on board as soon as the corona virus situation subsides.It is said KBL has requested further information regarding sponsorship value from the association and once satisfied, negotiations will resume.
However, some administrators within the National Executive Committee believe KBL’s parting message does not inspire confidence. “KBL‘s phase is over, they gave us hope but it is difficult to keep track of them, COVID-19 has affected every plan,” one member shared.
At the close last season, way before the corona virus impacted the country negatively; BFA revealed that it had long compiled its situation analysis of sponsorship value for the local game. It was understood that the property that is the Premier League could be purchased at a value P 15 million over 43 premier league games.
Botswana Football Association (BFA) President, Maclean Letshwiti.
Botswana Football Association (BFA) is engaged in protracted talks to stage a mini-league as lee-way to ascend into a proper football season by August this year.
The idea is to keep players fit and all football structures functioning as time pressure mounts.Informants say the idea is discussed at the competition office and will soon be forwarded to the National Executive Committee (NEC) for further deliberations.
This therefore means that all leagues across the country will be played for only one round until August where a new full football season will resume. Football has never returned to the field for almost 10 months now due to the corona virus.
The situation on the ground looks gloomy as COVID-19 cases continue to rise with each passing day. Football clubs are also feeling the pinch with Sua Flamingos becoming the latest victims. The club has been forced to suspend operations as players and members of the technical team test positive for the deadly virus.
While playing a mini-league is a last resort, it is mentioned that no team will be promoted or relegated after the completion of the games.Sources say it is better than folding arms when teams are continuing to pay players without kicking the ball.
The idea of the mini-league therefore means that there will be no prize money but teams will likely survive with grants from identifiable sponsors. Already, the Botswana Football League (BFL) has secured a P 5 million television deal for over three years.
The BFL think tanks contemplate to augment the television deal with sponsorship grants from ABSA bank. According to information, this will keep the league and its secretariat running until everything gets back to normalcy.
“It is true we are thinking to stage a mini league looking at what we have but this is still an infant idea, we are discussing and we will engage NEC going forward,” a member of the association shared.BFA leadership finds itself stuck between a rock and a hard place as the motion to kick start the league in February was shot down by the assembly in October of last year.
The movers of the motion argued that high temperatures usually recorded in the South of Sahara desert negatively affects player performance and their overall health conditions. However, there were intentions to commence the league at the earliest possible time but the task force together with the Ministry of Sport wanted players to be tested and football fields be fumigated regularly to avoid spreading the virus.
Early this week, the BFL leadership engaged the Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) to give an update on how football will return. However, this publication cannot adequately establish the detailed plan of the league.
Boteti based side, Orapa United were quick to snatch back Zebras left-back, Lesenya Ramoraka, tying him with a two-year deal after he was released this week by TS Galaxy.
The 26 year-old defender left The Ostriches in 2018 to join Highlands Park who later sold their status last year to renowned football agent Tim Sukazi of TS Galaxy. Ramoraka’s contract was to end this year July.
At the time of the sale, the team then opted not to register him for another season hoping to register him in the January transfer but his injury kept him out for longer than anticipated, forcing TS Galaxy to release him as he was free to start to negotiate with any team that may be interested in him.
“We have signed Ramoraka after assessing his injury and he is in Orapa as we speak doing his rehab.The injury is not bad and we expect him to resume light training anytime from mid- February,” said Kabo William, the club spokesperson.
Ramoraka left an impressive mark at Highlands Park where he played 29 games in all competitions and netting only once. Lee, as he is known in football circles, is one of the most trusted left backs in the country and has been a vital part of the Zebras with his absence felt at the national team.
“The team had wanted to keep him but they were just concerned that his injury was taking long to heal and they opted to release him as you cannot have a player out for too long more especially who is a foreigner,” said a source.
“He had survived the changes at the team and you have to also note that the coach who brought him, Owen Da Gama also just joined TS Galaxy and he is one of the players that he trusted and used so it is not a matter of performance but they couldn’t afford to have him on the side-lines for too long.”
Orapa United have also announced the signing of other players that include; Thabiso Boti formerly with Notwane, Kutlo Kolagano from City Eagles, Galagwe Moyana who was released by Township Rollers, Kagisano Mungu from TAFIC and the team promoted Phemelo Pushudi from their development side.
The Ostriches have released goalkeeper Bophelo Kealeboga who has signed a 2 year deal with Sua Flamingos, Mothusi Johnson who retraced his steps back to Gaborone United, Baboloki Makhura and Abdullah Hamisi.