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The brutal fall of Mighty Chiefs

Mochudi Centre Chiefs is a shadow of its former self, after years of flying high in the Premier League, it was certainly easy for Magosi to fall off those heights at the speed of light. STAFF WRITER MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE observes that it was bound to happen owing to the identity crisis it suffered.

When Mochudi Centre Chiefs rose to win back to back premier league titles during the unforgettable seasons of 2012-13 and 2013-14, under the tutelage of Zimbabwean mentor Madinda Ndlovu, not even their pessimistic supporters could have anticipated the ruthless fall the club would later experience.

While it is entirely difficult to chronicle the beginning of their downward path, it is crystal clear that a combination of poor administration and misplaced objectives are the reason the club has fallen from the dizzy high ways. It is noted with a disappearing delight that the success of Centre Chiefs in yesteryears was deeply rooted in the partnership hatched with business mogul, Sayed Jamali.

In the same breath it is noted that it was always a case of when, not if, Jamali would part ways with Mochudi Centre Chiefs. The reported troubled affair with Jamali as the major shareholder led him to end the hide and seek games they were playing. He did so, and immediately left the club in a dire state.

Bitter words were exchanged on the side of the Kgatleng giants; Jamali was seen as an able business man who could match the purse of Township Rollers investor, Jagdish Shah and could have achieved more with the Kgatleng giants. While the club‘s prolonged failure to make profit played a ‘telling part’ in the decision he had to make to move forward, the tropical issue these three past seasons, were never been about Jamali and his love lost with Chiefs, but rather about what happened to the Kgatleng giants since the struggle to find common ground with the society gained momentum.

It has been 3 years and the Centre Chiefs story has not changed. Magosi is further plunging into crisis without a competitive team. What falls on its own, is still the indication that Jamali‘s ghost haunts the training grounds and board room decisions of Mochudi Centre Chiefs. It would take a miracle for Chiefs to re unite with Jamali, yet them finding another business mogul for a sponsor is a dream difficult to achieve.  

The team’s various attempts to hold society annual general meetings after the departure of Jamali has appeared to have worsened the situation. At some point two centres of power emerged, and all were battling to administer the club. It is not only his absence that has a bearing on Chiefs demise, but also his ability to lure talented players with intriguing wages.

Simply, no one can underestimate the impact he had while at Magosi, and as things stand, it has become virtually impossible for the club to renegotiate with him. But an argument will always go unbounded regarding issues surrounding the management of the team. If Jamali’s effect has definitely been a factor contributing to Chiefs’s growing demise, most of the blame is shouldered by club leaders. A series of mistakes and struggles in letting coaches and players go further throws the Kgatleng giants down a dark path which will be difficult to escape from.

New campaigns have come and gone, all brought with themselves a new beginning. Coach Mike Sithole, the last mentor to win silverware with the club described his season as the most difficult one. But was it? It was indeed disastrous when Pio Paul was hired and expelled as the club assistant coach. Bongani Mafu was also hired to lead the club out of the woods. He could only manage a 7th position. Given the scenario at f the club, it was an acceptable position although he could not complete his mission because promises were broken along the way.

When Mafu reported for duty, little did Magosi know that he was heading for the exit before he could settle. Sooner, the club contacted and convinced Malawian born coach Kinnah Phiri to spearhead the club to redemption. But a month after signing a contract all hell broke loose. He complained that Magosi breached the contract and, as an alternative, asked that his contract be terminated.

They are now 2 points above relegation zone, and when the heart was ripped out of the club when captain and long standing player  Lesego Galenamotlhale was sold to Orapa United, all hope for revival is now gone. Worse still, Phiri has since disappeared without trace, and the club is allegedly eyeing either Philemon Makhwengwe or Pio Paul to re- awaken a dying season.

Whether Chiefs took a rewarding decision to give up on Jamali now with BDF XI, the facts are both standing and falling on their own that the business man, although with his own short comings was not a man to lose, and Magosi Still cannot trust their long standing society to lead the club.

Did you know?

Center Chiefs was registered in 1974.  Between 1999 and 2003, the club proposed to form an entity known as Mochudi Centre Chiefs Limited (MCCL). The entity was formed by a team of 13 adults who at the time convinced the general membership of the high level transformational elements that needed to be implored to make the club commercially sustainable.

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Sport

Dambe, Tsotso dump Zebras

12th April 2021

Remnant of the historic Africa Cup of Nations squad of 2012, Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele and Botswana’s first-choice goal keeper, Kabelo Dambe, will never embody the future of the Zebras as long as Adel Amrouche is at the helm, WeekendSport has established.

The duo made this confession in the squad secret WhatsApp group seen by this publication, expressing concern and antipathy about playing for the squad heavily polarised by the coach.

It turns out that the coach has players he favours and prefers, many of who appear in the starting line-up as a long lasting promise to be signed under his stable. The aim is to ultimately recruit them to far flung clubs and earn a commission.

Ngele who remains the only player to have scored the Zebras goal (in open play) at the 2012 edition has endured a rocky affair with the coach.

Not much has been established as to why the affair is in tatters but sources claim that it stretched to a point where Amrouche confronted Ngele’s former coaches at Black Leopards to discuss possible options of side-lining him. The idea was to frustrate the player and kill his confidence as the only player Zebras looked up to.

Ngele, under former coach Peter Butler, was named the squad captain but under Amrouche, he has played cameo roles in World Cup and AFCON qualifiers. Ngele has made three appearances and came once as a substitute in all the 10 games Amrouche managed.

Ngele was hoping for his own great leap forward in an effort to end his nightmare and play for the Zebras especially after earning playing time with his new club, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.

Do this day, Ngele has made more than 35 appearances for the Zebras since earning his debut in 2009. Away from The Zebras stage, Ngele made significant contributions at Platinum Stars, the first team he signed his professional contract with. In 67 games, he scored 19 times.

Amrouche’s insistency and promise to make a loud impact in this year’s qualifiers did not bear fruit. Part of the blame is shoved on Township Rollers stopper, Kabelo Dambe. He is accused to have failed to stand strong for Zebras and shipped in simpler goals that cost the team to book a flight to Cameroon next year.

A goal against Algeria on home soil and a goal by Zimbabwe last month could have never gone through had he positioned himself better, critics claim.

Dambe who has more than 44 caps and played all Zebras games under Amrouche feels hard done and had hoped the coach and the nation would protect him. He feels the ambition of the country to qualify mirrors a tomorrow that could never come because of his mistakes.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) General Manager of National Teams, Monnakgotla Mojaki when pressed for interview failed to provide details about the future of the two stars.

He expressed concern that he was never hands on when the squad played the qualifiers. This according to Mojaki, was the case because the coach had barred him from mingling with the players.

“I am sorry I cannot assist you with anything, I know nothing and remember I have not spoken to anybody since I was asked not to come to camp,” he shared.

Both Dambe and Ngele are not only equally unhappy but are also equal in age; both are 30 years and have played for Platinum Stars at one point in their careers.

However, there is information to the effect that the duo made a promise to return one day, and that is when the coach has parted company with the association.

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Sport

Galaxy star wants out

12th April 2021

Lebogang Ditsile has begun to cast fresh doubts over his future as a Jwaneng Galaxy player. The hard tackling midfielder has handed the club management a transfer request amid rumours linking him with Gaborone United.

This week, the industrious player gave Galaxy an ultimatum -to either improve his contract benefits or let him go- this comes after a decision was taken to offer the whole team pay cuts amid the corona virus pandemic.

Galaxy has arrived at a conclusion of giving each player P3000 until a time football returns to the field.Ditsile, one of the club’ highest paid players is certainly restless and would not want to entertain a second thought over his future.

Galaxy on the other hand is feeling distraught over GU’s constant communication with the player, and are also aggrieved that the Nikholas Zakhem powered team wants to prize away their asset. Ditsile’s contract does not expire until June of 2022.

The situation is not yet explosive but it is believed to have gotten under Ditsile’s skin and it is threatening to turn ugly. Ditsile apparently is the best thing ever to happen to Galaxy and to leave them at this point will surely be a great loss that could take some time for the club to recover.

However, GU is busy making their move for their long-time target and the enterprising midfielder is said to be determined to complete the transfer before the season begins. It is said the player wants to play football without hustles, which Galaxy cannot promise at the present moment, and the allure of GU will certainly prove too much to stay from.

The team led and directed by Zakhem is reported to have promised ‘Tally’ a mouth-watering contract should he voluntarily terminate. It is however noted that GU cannot risk buying the player who is still on a running contract.

It is believed that Ditsile recognises GU as one of the country’s leading clubs, capable of competing for the grandest prizes. In the event of joining GU, Ditsile would have fulfilled his dream of playing for a rich paying club.

He has enjoyed his years at Galaxy, where he is feted by the supporters, but feels that the time is right to move on. It is impossible to dispute the value and service that he has given to the club, with last season being his best.

The fan-favourite, who has had an on and off relationship with the national team, is still held by the terms of his contract while discussions between his agent are continuing behind closed doors.

Those close to developments mention that Ditsile is yet to be shocked by the stubborn position held by the Galaxy; but the club will surely hate losing such a prized possession to their fiercest rivals.

The Galaxy management has a reputation of being tough negotiators but for Ditsile, the offer from GU is one that should be impossible to refuse.On the other hand, GU are mindful of the tactics often displayed by Botswana players.

They have a tendency of bargaining through rival clubs so as to increase salary or force the management to act swiftly.

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Sport

Panic ahead of women champions’ league

12th April 2021

The absence of women national league in the country has caused anxiety and alarm at Botswana Football Association (BFA) secretariat. PIC: Soccer Laduma

This is the case because the inaugural COSAFA women champions’ league is about to kick start and BFA is expected to send the name of the team that will represent the country.

As things stand, the association is caught between a rock and a hard place because they are unable to determine the deserving team. The reality facing the association is because its women nation-wide league has never been played since the first corona virus case was registered in March of 2020.

However, the association has devised a plan and a model to opt for a team that will participate in the tournament to be held between November and December of this year. The play offs are expected to commence in August.

BFA has therefore called for an expression of interest from clubs to select the most deserving team.The expression of interest, according to BFA, should cover the club’s financial viability and ability to honour its games (both home and away) without fail. According to findings, the club will need a minimum of P100 00 to play a telling role.

It is therefore highly unlikely that BFA will find a women’s team enjoying such financial freedom. In any case, the association will be forced to offer financial assistance.Township Rollers, Mexican girls and Double Action are the few teams that can possibly be selected, but a huge question mark hangs over their financial disposition.

One other thing needed through the expression of interest is the current books of accounts which will definitely show that the club has been operating. BFA is of the view that this is important because it will help in showing the financial progression of the team.

“We are very pleased with how these events were organized under very difficult circumstances,” COSAFA General Secretary, Sue Destombes said in a statement.

“We take what we learnt in Nelson Mandela Bay into our planning for 2021. We have a full calendar of tournaments at this stage. We are hopeful we will be able to stage them all, even in these most challenging times.

The highlight must be the introduction of the regional Women’s Champions League, which will be a zonal qualifier for the new CAF Women’s Champions League which is coming later this year,” she further shared.

 

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