BFA may replace Kowa
Matshidiso ‘Saxton’ Kowa’s stay at Lekidi football center as a Technical Director will not last beyond June 2018 as the football association is already searching for his successor, WeekendSport has gathered.
Kowa, a 2015 inductee of hall of fame, came on BFA radar early last year as a last resort to replace little known Benny Kgomela. BFA had ploughed their sights on Mauritian Govinden Thondoo to run its technical arm but their dreams disappeared almost immediately after FIFA, a world football governing body gave him a new contract. It was when the Letshwiti run association called and convinced the former Zebras goal stopper to take the reins though on a short stint.
It is not yet clear if Kowa has impressed his principals, but word doing round is that he will not be given another run. What feeds on this looming strategy of the association is the fact that adverts for Kowa’s post has already been flaunted. “We have advertised the position of the technical director, everyone including Kowa can apply, you will remember that there was agreement to the effect that he will assume the post on a short spell,” BFA media relations officer, Tumo Mpatane said.
When asked about his performance Tumo declined to comment on the issue arguing that “performance matters are between an employer and employee.” When recruited last year, it was believed that Kowa better fit the mould of what BFA wanted from a technical director.
Kowa once held a similar post in 2012 under BFA past President David Dani’s era and was among the radical administrators who broke ranks with BFA leadership to form a caucus group that almost split BFA into two, as BOSA (Botswana Soccer Association) name emerged.
Regarded as one of Botswana’s greatest goalkeepers, and having been part of the National team setup, ‘Bra Tshidi,’ as Kowa is affectionately known, was one of the most revered coaches and football administrators. He is also known for his good eye for talent identification and development. Among the players who have come from Kowa’s development structures is Supersport United attacking midfielder, Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele as well as his older brother Godfrey, Sekhana Koko, Bakang Moeng, Thato Bolweleng, as well as Vincent Phiri among many.
While now selecting another technical director is seen as a move bearing different results, the association is said to be determined to admit that circumstances beyond their control have led them to entertain a ‘second thought.’ BFA sources say they need an individual who will not be polluted by its internal politics, but can work hand in hand with the often Zebras head coach Major David Bright to turn around the game. Some BFA sources say Kowa should not dread for his own future as the association may be closing all loopholes concerning procedures of recruiting its staff.
When reached for clarity, Kowa said as far as he is concerned, he is still an employee of BFA, and nobody has told him otherwise. “I am still contacted the association, this is as far as I can share,” he said.
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It’s do or die for Zebras
The senior national team, the Zebras, is currently in Equatorial Guinea to for an African Cup of Nations Qualifiers tie. Before they departed, the team’s coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, had his troops train in Morocco. This was through the agreement between the two countries.
The agreement between the BFA and the Fédération Moroccan Football Association states that the two nations will work together to organize friendly matches between their respective national teams. It also allows the establishment of football camps for the youth categories (U-15, U-17, and U-20), this includes women’s national teams.
The national team has played over 180 minutes in its two qualifying matches against Tunisia and Libya. Currently, the Zebras, Lesotho and Liberia are the only teams that haven’t scored yet in the competition (this is correct by press time on Friday).
Before the match against Equatorial Guinea match, the local boys who were once known as the whipping boys of Africa in the early 2000s, were languishing at the bottom of the log standings in group J. They lost their first match away to Libya on June 1, 2022. However, they managed to salvage a point against Tunisia last year.
Before the team left for Equatorial Guinea, coach Mpote urged his players to focus on keeping their hopes of making a return trip to the AFCON finals alive after an 11 year absence since the maiden appearance in 2012. He noted that they would not allow their opponents to score and would ensure that they would get a draw.
Despite the various changes that have occurred in the two countries’ football landscape, the two teams have only met once before. In 2010, the local boys defeated the Equatorial Guinea team in a friendly match, which ended in an emphatic win for the visitors. Since then, the two sides have realised different fortunes in FIFA rankings, with Equatorial Guinea ranked 51 places above the Zebras.
Meanwhile, in their last six games, Guinea has only managed to win one of them. They drew with Rwanda and Togo in September 2022 friendlies. They have found the back of the net just twice in their six games. On the other hand, the Zebras, won one match against Zambia and lost four on their way to finishing at the bottom of the group with four points. At the conclusion of their previous AFCON campaign, the local boys traveled to Zambia and secured a draw.
Despite the recent results of the Guinean team, which have only managed to draw with Rwanda and Togo in their last six matches, coach Mpote is still confident that his team will perform well against the hosts.
According to the head coach, the local boys have the necessary skills and resources to perform well against any country. He noted that the team’s coaches have been studying abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects of football.
“Tactically they should also be ready. We need your (Botswana fans) usual support, when we come back from Equatorial Guinea, we will go to Francistown, and we will need you. You are our 12th player, and you are very important to us.”
OBED ITANI CHILUME STADIUM CERTIFIED
This week, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Tuelo Serufho revealed that the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium will host the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the local boys and Equatorial Guinea. The venue had initially failed an inspection test conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). However, following the completion of the necessary works, the stadium was allowed to host the match.
According to BNSC Chief, Tuelo Serufho, the various requirements that the stadium must meet included having a designated parking area for the media and spectators, as well as having signage that will guide the spectators. He also noted that the venue now has a world-class media area.
Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society
Township Rollers, one of the country’s most decorated football clubs with 15 premier league titles, is finding itself in a precarious situation as its long-term chief financier, Jagdish Shah, threatens to dump them if the society does not bow down to his demand of forfeiting their 20 percent interest in the company.
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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon
Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.
He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.
The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.