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Nico players owed salaries for the whole season

Players of the relegated Nico United are owed salaries for the whole season, the club’s former Treasurer, Kgakgamatso broke the news recently at the club’s Annual General Assembly at Lekadiba Club. He said the club’s monthly wage bill stand at P80, 000 and that the club is currently sitting on a P700, 000 debt.

Moreri revealed that some players have since taken the legal route to force the club to pay them. He said that they have since appeared before court and the club has been ordered to pay outstanding salaries, a directive unlikely to be met in a short time and likely to attract subsequent penalties. Moreri noted that they have since paid over P25, 000 in rental arrears after the landlord approached the courts for redress. It appears if Nico’s financial trouble does not subsides, it is likely to be embattled with court appearances and lawsuits.

Nico’s expenditure stands at around P700, 000 in the just ended season, largely relying on the Premier League grants and donations from good Samaritans as well as gate takings. The club’s slightly over P600, 000 income made in the 2016/17 season was all consumed in the expenditure which exclude payment of salaries. Players were only paid “inadequate” bonuses way below their salaries in the months of October, December and January. Nico United’s expenditure include paying for housing and utilities for its players.

Moreri also noted that the club’s technical sponsorship deal with Pedigree Sport has come to end and pleaded with the team to look into issues of membership as the club has no registered and subscribing members since the closure of BCL. Nico made around P25, 000 in subscription fees from its members who worked at the mine. Nico has been falling in the premiership log-standing since 2013. The Phikwe based outfit were runners-up in the 2012/13 season and fell to position five the following season. It went on to drop to position nine, position 11 and 14 in the 2014/14, 2014/16, and 2016/17 respectively.

The General Assembly ended with the election of a new Executive Committee to run the club in the next four years as per the club’s constitution. Moagi Tshupego has been elected chairman with Ace Moloko and Okemetse Matebejane as his Vice Chairman Administration and Technical respectively. Busang Moalosi and Phinda Mbereki have retained the positions of Team Manager-Welfare and Team Manger-Logistics respectively. Bangulani Choolisa was elected Treasurer while Ace Orapeleng retained as Public Relations Officer.

 The position of Secretary went to Esther Ikaneng, assisted by Tshinyegelo Mogote while Supporters Chairperson was won by Mathiba Mothelo. Joseph Kelekwang was voted in as Kit Manager while Samuel Ponatshego and Kgakgamatso Moreri are additional members.
Meanwhile, renounced Sport Analyst, Vusa Ziga of Botswana Television advised Nico United to be united as they will now be playing at first division, warning that if the club fails to gain promotion to the BTC Premiership in two years, its chances of going back to the elite league will be very elusive.

“You have to come up with new strategies that will help to promote the team from first division. Nico is going to depend more supporters to run the club and if we do not get promotion in the next two years, we will follow on the footsteps of FC Satmos,” he said.
Ziga, who is BTV’s General Manager for Projects and a Nico United supporter is one of the club’s well-wishers who has helped Nico financially in the last season. On this day, he donated five soccer balls to show his continues support for the club.

The new committee’s first task is to meet former FIFA Development Officer, Ashfold Mamelodi to help them strategise and establish a working relationship with Real Movers, another Selebi Phikwe based team that will be playing alongside Nico in the Debswana First Division North. Mamelodi is said to have volunteered his mentorship skills to lend a helping hand to Nico United in order to see the club return to BTC Premiership.

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Botswana ranked 4th in Zone 4 boxing tourney

4th May 2022

The Botswana national boxing team recently returned from the zone 4 championship held in Mozambique. The team was led by head coach Thebe Setlalekgosi, two assistant coaches, Gibson Rauwe and Pearl Mooketsi. Two referees and judges, Gaseitsewe Ponatshego and Linda Mooketsi.

In the women’s category, Lethabo Modukanele was representing Botswana in the 48 kg division, while Phekie Bele and Sadie Kenosi were competing in the 57 kg and 60 kg categories, respectively. In the men’s category, Kobamelo Molatlhegi was representing the country in the 52 kg division, while Rajab Mahomed was competing in the under 51 kg category.George Molwantwa was competing for under 57 kg category and Treasure Moremi was competing for under 60kg category.

The boxers came home with seven medals, Modukanele came home with a gold medal, Kenosi, Rajab, Molatlhegi all came home with silver medals. While Moremi, Molwantwa and Phekie Bele all came home with bronze medals.

According to Moitshepi Nkabiti, the public relations officer of the Botswana Boxing Association, the team performed well and that they were hoping that Rajab would also bring home a gold medal. However, due to an eye injury, he could not participate in the finals.

He stated that, “though some people might think that how our team performed is not an achievement it is a big achievement to us. Other countries came with 19 boxers while we only came with our seven boxers, and they all came back with medals. That is something that we have to be proud of I really commend them for their performance. Having 5 players making it to the finals is really a blessing and we should not take it for granted.”

According to Nkabiti, Botswana was ranked fourth in the zone 4 championship, which was held in Mozambique. Other countries that participated in the tournament included South Africa, Zambia, Eswatini, and Seychelles. They all had a total of 19 boxers. Lesotho also had eight boxers.

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Mascom Charity Cup raised P500K

4th May 2022
Mascom Charity Cup

The first Mascom Charity Cup spectacular has come and gone. The football event played at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium saw four football clubs playing one-day tourney with various charity centres being beneficiaries of the gate takings.

While the attendance was not at the expected level, it is said that the sponsor has made a killing with close to P500 000 made from voting lines. Football followers were asked to vote for teams of their choice, and top four clubs were eligible to play. A single sms voting line cost P 1.50.

Gaborone United became the most voted team with 62 984 votes followed by Security Systems with 51 027. On the third spot was BDF XI with 48 596 votes while Orapa United came forth with 44 401. Shockingly, Township Rollers did not make it after gathering a total of 30 637 votes, with BR Highlanders ahead of them having seen 44 204 votes to their name.

It is said, however that, the initiative live to expectation as clubs together with the sponsor have managed to assist charities of their choices. Mascom is believed to be happy for identifying beneficiaries and getting value for their money.

The mobile network company is still the longest standing partners of local football, having first tasted waters in 2005. The company now powers the Top 8 competition and said to have renewed the dame sponsorship at a value not exceeding 18 million. The Mascom Charity Cup was not the first to be hosted by a mobile network company.

In 2018, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) hosted a similar event in which followers had to vote. The four participating teams were Mochudi Center Chiefs, Gaborone United, Orapa United and Township Rollers. GU were the eventual winners.

It is however not clear if the tournament will continue in the next football calendar, but what goes down into the history books is that Teenage Mpote and Orapa United were the first to win it.
In previous years, there have been an off season tournament whose aim was meant for charity purposes. The tourney was called Kabelano Charity Cup and was usually played by four big teams (Rollers, Notwane, GU and Chiefs) without taking the voting routes. It was last hosted in 2015 and had Barclays as the sponsors.

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Golden boot race intensifies

4th May 2022
Sesinyi vs Kgamanyane

Yet another thrilling showdown is expected between the country’s hottest strikers, Thabang Sesinyi of Jwaneng Galaxy and Thataoyaone Kgamanyane of Gaborone United, as the duo are eyeing for the 2021/2022 Golden boot.

With only four Botswana Premier League (BPL) games left, the race for the honours is rolling towards a thrilling climax, but for two individuals there is a race for an accolade of their own taking place that could easily go down to the final minutes of the season. Leading the pack with 19 goals is Jwaneng Galaxy talisman, Sesinyi who is one goal apart from Kgamanyane who has netted 18 goals thus far.

Both players have their eye on the golden boot, hoping that their respective teams have fixtures to put them in with a realistic chance of catching up, or leaving the other behind. The Money Machine is currently at the summit of the BPL log with 61 points while the mining giant, Galaxy are trailing on the third place with 49 points, having played 24 games thus far.

Both teams (GU and Galaxy) are expected to face each other towards the end of the season, as the initial fixture was postponed due to Galaxy’s involvement in CAF championship group stages.
With 19 goals chalked up for the season so far, Sesinyi is just one goal away from Kgamanyane who led the race for the better part of the campaign.  Sesinyi who is on freakish scoring form has scored four goals in his last two games; a hat trick against Prisons XI and a goal against Sua Flamingoes in the midweek fixture.

But there is no doubt that  Sesinyi is no longer playing to carry his team, Galaxy, as realistically there is a slim chance for them to clinch the 2021/2022 season, but he is eyeing the Golden Boot Award when the league falls off.

Kgamanyane has begun the season in tremendous form; scoring every time he is given a chance, while Sesinyi, on the other hand, reached the peak of his form in the second round of the season; scoring both in the domestic league and also on the CAF Champions’ league group stage. He featured on team of the week on February.

Furthermore, the Money Machine attacker showed some growth as his conversion rate has been on a rising graph in the games he has so far played. Although Kgamanyane’s goal scoring prowess has been there for everyone to see, the player has been hampered by injuries. It promises to be a fascinating battle between the duo.

Meanwhile, BPL this week announced that they will hold the 2021/2022 awards. The league has since added seven new categories to take the total number of categories to 16. Among some new categories are the Defender of the Season and Midfielder of the Season awards. There are also two more awards for the administrators, as the league has included Team Manager of the Season and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Season awards.

The best performing players in this campaign will be included in the Premier League Best XI.  Nevertheless, match day officials have also been recognised with the introduction of two more categories in the young Referee of the Season and the Female Referee of the Season. Furthermore, BFL CEO Solomon Ramochotlhwane indicated that the awards will be held on the 25 June 2022, just after the 2021-2022 season comes to an end.

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