Mogorosi faces disciplinary charges
Township Rollers long serving player, Joel Mogorosi might have been ferried off the pitch on a stretcher last Saturday, but it is his actions after sustaining his injury that may lead to him missing more games this season. The player, in fury, after sustaining his injury, is alleged to have hurled insults at referee, Gilbert Leteane.
Mogorosi suffered a fractured leg in his 5th premier league game against rookies, Sharps Shooting Stars. ‘Speed fire’ as he is affectionately called by the legion of his followers, went on a Facebook rant, sharing his disappointment on Sharps Shooting Stars coach who is alleged to have instructed his players to rough tackle them (Township Rollers). Mogorosi also conceded he was aware of the wrath he will receive following his ‘judgment’ on the match official, but said he was equally embarrassed that the referee could not brandish a red card to the Sharps Shooting Stars defender who broke his leg.
When contacted for comment, Sharps coach Keitumetse Paul declined to comment, instead referring this reporter to his lawyers, “I do not talk to media, please talk to my lawyers,” he retorted, before cutting the line. According to reports, before Mogorosi was taken to hospital, he threatened match officials. Unfortunately, sources this publication spoke to could not reproduce the player’s words but confirmed that he was ultimately given a red card whilst in the dressing room.
Meanwhile, Botswana Premier League office is said to be still awaiting a full report from match officials and all parties involved before taking the matter up with their prosecutor. “We are waiting for a full comprehensive report from officials, and if there are charges to be made all individuals involved will be brought to book accordingly,” Premier league Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Ntshinogang said. Depending on the outcome of the report, Mogorosi, a former Senior National Team captain faces disciplinary charges in accordance with article 14 of BFA play rules and regulations.
Mogorosi’s impeding case mirrors that of former Mochudi Centre Chiefs players, Pontsho Moloi and Michael Mogaladi who threatened and hurled insults at referee Joshua Bondo in the summer of 2014 in a Mascom Top 8 semifinal game against Township Rollers. The two players were found guilty by the disciplinary committee of the premier league and their charges were laid by the then prosecutor Tshiamo Rantao. The case is believed to have set precedence, and it is believed that the same fate awaits Mogorosi. Both Moloi and Mogaladi were banned from playing football for 10 games with a fine of P10 000 set aside.
Rollers ashamed of Mogorosi’s behavior
Township Rollers has since expressed it is disappointed by the player’s attitude. Speaking to WeekendSport, Rollers media liaison Phempheretlhe Pheto said Rollers has no choice but to evoke code of conduct that Mogorosi agreed to when signing his contract extension early this year. “We have called the player to tell him our stand, as a matter of transparency, we have to take action in order to tame this behavior from spreading to other players,” Pheto said. Rollers insists that Mogorosi as one of their senior players has since accepted the turn of events, but was remorseful when narrating his side of the story.
He is said to have admitted to being frightened for his future particularly because he had suffered a fracture on the same leg that was fractured some years back. One other reason that led to his misconduct, according to the club spokesperson was that the player claimed to have heard instruction coming from the opposing team that they be rough tackled. Pheto said the player is willing to produce evidence to authenticate his claim.
Further, Mogorosi is said to have also narrated that he was on an early contention for the ‘Green Boot’, and that the thought that he will be on the sidelines for weeks fueled him to rebel against the club’s code of conduct. Again, the player was worried that his career might have taken a sharp turn to an end owing to this injury. Mogorosi signed a 1 year contract with Rollers in June after the club nearly parted ways with him. He was linked with Sharps and Gaborone United but Rollers’ failure to recruit a competent replacement meant that his stay was extended by another year.
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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.”