Gaborone United (GU) has postponed their much anticipated sponsorship launch with their long standing partner Zac Construction to a date yet to be announced.
It is said the club has moved the dates to rope in yet another house hold company to partner with Zac as The Reds begin the quest for silverware.
The two sponsors were expected to be announced yesterday (Friday). When addressing the issue, the club’ s chairman Okaile Rapula said that the delay is as a result of finalizing some logistics the sponsor felt were overlooked.
The team, although having differences with Nicholas Zakhem is expected to mount a serious challenge for league honours this season. It is said that Zakhem will continue to assist the club with P1 million over a period of three seasons to run its affairs.
It is believed that Zakhem is no longer sure about his future at Moyagoleele owing to club ownership fights. He has been the sole financier of the club since 2010, but the team has failed to win league championships ever since he came on board.
They have however won two Mascom top 8 titles, one with Major David Bright and the other with Zimbabwean mentor Rahman Gumbo.
Early this year, it was reported that Zakhem may acquire the club entirely, but it seems the idea may not be followed through. This follows Zakhem’s emergency at another local club, Gilport Lions.
The team’s newly appointed Public Relations Officer (PRO) Ernest Mmirwa Mosedame however thanked the supporters for attending the weekend opener against Police XI in large numbers and encouraged them to continue gracing all upcoming games.
He further urged supporters to buy tickets from Spar shops in Gaborone, Mochudi and Molepolole on time as no tickets will be sold at stadiums. Gaborone United will battle it out with Galaxy FC at Molepolole Sports Complex today(Saturday) at 1530 hours before taking on BTC Premiership new comers Black Forest on Wednesday at 1900 hours at Molepolole Sports Complex.
Gaborone United is without doubt one of the best and oldest clubs in the country. They have a rich history and are fighting hard to live to their old times. United won the Botswana elite league for eight consecutive years from its inception in 1967. Then they won it again in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2003 and 2009. They also won the FA Cup in 2012 and the Mascom top 8 in the 2011/2012 season. The team has won a good number of competitions including the Kabelano charity cup and other cups hence their nickname ‘The Money Machine’. In celebration of their ten years of existence, the team bought a minibus in Mafikeng and it was the first team to own a minibus. They have from then until now always tried their best to be the first on turning professional. United have shown their ambition by competing in the African club competitions whenever they qualified.
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.
Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.
Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.
The Forward 3.0 funds – to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.
According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.
“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,” Infantino noted.
The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.
“A contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and referees’ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,” the report indicated.
FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.
Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.
For the specific projects – in the case of Botswana and Namibia – there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.
The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.
When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; “Ours is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.”