Rollers supporters want Kavazovic gone
Following a conspicuous decline of infield results by log leaders Township Rollers, supporters have started making noise regarding the newly recruited Serbian coach, Nikola Kavazovic.
The midweek harm inflicted by Francistown based outfit TAFIC appears to have triggered anger and the Serbian allegedly has been given one more game to redeem himself, and the club of course. On Wednesday this week, Rollers high ranking sources said Kavazovic together with his Technical Director, Dragojlo Stanojlović –also from Serbia- were summoned to Jagdish Shah’s offices to explain the club’s latest performance that is evidently rubbing team supporters the wrong way.
Having narrowly defeated strong premier league relegation candidates in Uniao Flamengo Santos and Gilport Lions as well as failing to triumph over league rookies Tafic, supporters feel the coach’s tactics are far from convincing. Their worst fears were confirmed two weeks ago when Miscellaneous as led by Oris Radipotsane became the first club to condemn the expensively assembled side to a 3- 1 defeat.
Various supporters believe that the decision to let striker, Jerome ‘JJ’ Ramatlhakwana go has come back to haunt the team. Kavazovic however remains adamant that his decision was not wrong-and is holding on to his verdict on the former Rollers striker. “Even so, I don’t regret letting Jerome (Ramatlhakwana) go and I stand by that decision. In fact I stand by all my decisions I have taken so far,” said Kavazovic.
He added that he has always maintained that Ramatlhakwana was not even among his first three choices as far as the strike force was concerned and nonetheless he (Ramatlhakwana) asked to be released and they granted him that wish. Kavazovic is believed to have admitted before Shah’s eyes that the club needs serious redemption but it is unfortunate that his trusted lieutenants are serving suspension following commotion that erupted between his club and TAFIC.
Club Captain Joel Mogorosi, after serving a three match ban only returned to endure another walk of shame after being red carded for retaliation. Mthokozisi Msomi, his only striker after the departure of Ramatlhakwana, was also given a red card. However their game with Jwaneng Galaxy tomorrow (Sunday) will surely determine Kavazoci’s future with the MmaMasire based giants. All the while, prior to the TAFIC encounter, players are also reported to have been asked by their chief financier to take a leading role to rescue the situation before it turns ugly.
The Rollers coach since the beginning of January has fielded a different line up that bore mixed results. Defender Mosha Gaolaolwe, midfielder Ofentse Nato, winger Lemponye Tshireletso together with Rollers darling attacker Segolame Boy have all assumed different new roles under the tutelage of Kavazovic. Meanwhile Rollers spokesperson Phempheretlhe Pheto has asked supporters to remain calm amid this storm, saying all teams seem to be targeting their beautiful club. He said if not careful, the club will lose points due to unruly behaviour.
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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer
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.”
HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY DO THIS?
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.”