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Shah wins hearts but

Botswana Premier League (BPL) Board of Governors is expected to usher in Township Rollers President Jagdish Shah as its chairman over this weekend, an announcement that will only be made public on Monday the 5th, WeekendSport has been told.

The rise of Shah to the BPL decision making position now heralds a new era in the history of the league house where a leader will not necessarily be   chairman of the club as the football Association constitution dictates.  While serenity is expected to prevail within the board, not all are pleased with the decision to rope in a football administrator who holds a different portfolio at his club.

The BFA guiding document indicates in article 12.5.2 that a premier league board shall consist of chairpersons of premier league clubs. The same chairpersons are expected to vote within themselves the chairman of the board.It is however indicated that Shah has been attending league board meetings consistently and no eyebrows have been raised. On one hand, Township Rollers’ constitution recognizes one Walter Kgabong as the chairperson of the club, and this gives him the license to attend board meetings. Why Shah has been acting in Kgabong’s portfolio is not yet known.

Shah, if finally installed will replace Rapula Okaile who vacated the post citing personal commitments earlier this month. Informants further assert that the premier league, under the guidance of the association will amend the constitution to allay fears of infringing on the set down rules and possibly create room to accommodate football administrators in the mould of Shah. While that remains the intention of the board, others argue that there is no need to rush things as Shah may ascend to the plum post as soon as all the relevant documentation is completed.

It is not the first time Shah is being touted to take over reigns as chairman of the board. In July 2014, the Rollers Chief financier went on record saying that he intended to take over the position but his wish was met with resistance of all kinds. WeekendSport was informed that the disgruntled members requested their former lawyer Tefo Sibanda to ask the premier league secretariat to bar the millionaire from contesting the post that was vacated by Mike Molefe of Uniao Flamengo Santos.

According to insiders, the members who were fighting tooth and nail to have Somerset Gobuiwang lose the plum post of the most decorated team in the country, Shah was the  only a share-holder and not chairman of the club. His opponent claimed that only [Walter] Kgabong was qualified to represent the team on the board of governors and thus enjoy the prerogative to aspire for higher office.

But their arguments, too, received widespread criticism. It was believed that they had no authority to direct the proceedings of the league. Those talking in the corner of the league and in full support of Shah proclaim that “he was in fact the right man to steer the proceedings at board level.”

In an interview with this publication, Shah, who is the chairman of Township Holdings, the company running all the affairs of Township Rollers, had said he had indeed received a letter and had since forwarded it to club secretary Khumo Masonya for further perusal.
Shah admitted at the time that he had no problem in contesting for the chairmanship of the league because he had the backing of the club management.

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Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”


By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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BFA to pay Taylor P330 000

7th March 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) has been ordered to pay its former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone Taylor over P330 000 as a compensation for her unfair dismissal last year February.

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