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 ― 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’― 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.”
Local sprinter, Letsile Tebogo has been rewarded with a whopping P150 000.00 by Orange Botswana for his heroics at the recently held World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Speaking at a Handover Ceremony for Tebogo, Orange Botswana Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maano Masisi said, Orange Botswana is steadfast in their commitment to nurturing the youth and promoting sports in diverse ways.
“Letsile stands as a formidable force and an inspiration to young Batswana, showcasing the value of sports not only in Botswana but on an international stage through his remarkable achievements. Orange Botswana, furthermore, desires to cultivate enduring relationships with aspiring young Batswana, much like Letsile, who embody dedication, focus, and excellence in their endeavors. Letsile has already shattered records, etching new milestones for the African continent and beyond,”
Masisi further said the partnership aligns seamlessly with Orange Botswana’s dedication to acknowledging exceptional individual talent like Tebogo.
“As previously announced when we started this relationship, our collaboration with yourself entails financial support from Orange Botswana to fuel your journey in competitive sports, alongside your representation as the face of Orange Botswana,” he said.
For his part, Tebogo pleaded with Orange Botswana to extend his contract as it is beneficial to him, “I am thankful to Orange Botswana and I hope they could extent my contract as it has been very helpful.”
Meanwhile, Tebogo’s coach, Kebonyemodisa ‘Dose’ Mosimanyana was also showered with P10 000.00 for always ensuring that Tebogo is ready to take on the world.
Local athletes, Zibane Ngozi and Letsile Tebogo have confronted Minister of Youth, Gender and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare citing lack of support during preparations.
Speaking at the World Champs team Welcome Ceremony on Wednesday, the 4 x 400m relay specialist and Team Captain, Ngozi urged some of the government officials inclusive of Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) representative, Rakgare to attend these high-profile competitions to witness the hardships they go through during these competitions.
“People need to understand it is not easy for us when we arrive at the World stage, there is a lot that is going on hence we need support in order for us to succeed as expected.
However, I am happy that immediately when I arrived in Botswana, BNSC credited our allowances which was a good thing because we had lots of debts (jokingly) thus we manage to settle them,” he said.
On the other hand, Tebogo who brought home two medals (silver and bronze) from 100m and 200m respectively at the World Champs said most athletes are going through depression due unfavorable conditions.
“Most of us going through depression because we lack support during preparations, we are only celebrated when we win but in hard times we are forgotten. Athletics is a difficult sport hence we need all the support we could to make it through and eventually amass medals as it is expected by our country,”
For his part, Rakgare admitted that local sport is faced with challenges, including but not limited to a tough sponsorship environment, limited or no sport in public schools, doping and leadership instability.
“I would of course be surprised if anyone of you would not agree with me that notwithstanding the challenges, we continue to achieve unprecedented results in sport, and the year to date is no exception,” he said.
Rakgare gave special recognition to Oratile Rose Nowe for heroics at the World Champs, “I would like to take this opportunity and congratulate Nowe for attaining a new personal best 2:01.62 in Women’s 800m, which also happens to be a national record. By the way, Oratile is the first Motswana woman to ever qualify for the World Championships in middle distance running.”
According to Rakgare, Government, recognizes athletes’ achievements at any and every competition, and that is why most recently, they have rewarded them at the Youth and Sport Awards.
“I would like to thank the Government of Botswana for their investment in sport. We continue to pride ourselves in being one of the best funders of sport per capita, and as indicated earlier, we are not intending to slow down anytime soon,”
On a lighter note, World Champs BW Team was rewarded by various companies such as Debswana, Choppies, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and also government as a token of appreciation for participating in Hungary.
Tebogo was rewarded with P560 000 from Debswana, Choppies and BPC for bringing two medals home, 4 x 400m men relay finalists (Ngozi, Baboloki Thebe, Laone Ditshetelo and Leungo were given P25 000 apiece for reaching the finals and participating by Debswana; while ladies (Tlhomphang Basele, Golekanye Chikani, Lydia Jele, Oratile Nowe, Galefele Moroko, Obakeng Kamberuka were given P10 000 each for participation.
In addition, the World Champs team amassed P926 000.00 of which P250 000 would go to Tebogo and the remaining P676 000 will be shared amongst the rest of the team.
With several local associations currently going through a rough patch in terms of financial quagmires, Botswana Netball Association (BONA) Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mokeresete Mokeresete is optimistic to host the 2023 Africa Netball Cup as per the request from African Netball Board (Executive Committee) because Uganda has pulled out.
Will it be successful or finally quench the thirst of competing internationally?
The African Netball Championships or Africa Netball Cup are a netball competition held every after two years with teams from across Africa competing for the top price.
BONA National team competed in the last edition of the Africa Netball Cup which was held in 2021 in Namibia and they finished in position seven which was average.
Last time BONA hosted an event of this magnitude was the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup which was indeed a success even though the local team (Dinaletsana) finished in position 10.
One would have thought that the Dinaletsana team which looked promising would eventually go on and conquer the world in the following international competitions. However, that has not been the case as they struggled to qualify for the recent World Cup which was held in the neighboring South Africa.
In addition, the Botswana Netball League was last played in November 2022 and in 2023 they hosted a Fast Five Netball Cup just before the Netball World Cup.
In an interview with WeekendSport this week, BONA Public Relations Officer (PRO) said they have accepted to host the 2023 Africa Netball Cup following the pulling out of Uganda.
“We have recently accepted a request to the 2023 Africa Netball Cup, however – we are still working on finalizing all the logistics that will be in play as you are aware that hosting an event requires a budget which might be difficult because we were given a smaller potion in the recent financial year.
Furthermore, we are yet to come up with a consolidated budget which could help us map a way forward as we really want to stage this particular competition. It is vital for us to host this competition as we want to revitalize local netball, we want to attract more for the league,” said Mokeresete Mokeresete.
MORE NETBALL ACTION AHEAD?
Mokeresete further hinted that the upcoming Independence Cup will be preparatory tournament for the upcoming Africa Netball Cup.
“We are going to host the Independence Cup of which we are expected at least 16 ladies’ teams and a few of male’ teams as we are still swiftly introducing the male section to the sport in Orapa.
However, prior to the action we are going conduct courses for match officials, technical official and coaches’ beginners’ level 1 courses as an effort of improve the standards of the sporting code,” hinted Mokeresete.
MISSING THE RECENT NETBALL WORLD CUP WAS CATASTROPHIC
According to BONA PRO, missing the recent Netball World Cup was catastrophic as players missed out on an opportunity to showcase their talents on the world stage which was bound to garner those deals to more professional countries in terms of Netball.
“We are seeing lots of movement for players from countries like Zimbabwe which is remarkable and that could have happened for our player – but it wasn’t to be as we did not qualify for the main event.
Moreover, through the World Cup Legacy Program, we have been awarded a sprung board and we are contention to transport it from South Africa to the country as one of the requirements to host a sporting event is to have a sprung floor,”
Meanwhile, the 2023 Africa Netball Cup is scheduled between November 26 – October 06 2023 at University of Botswana (UB) Indoor Sports Arena.