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Bullish BPL board fights suspension

DEFIANT BPL: Premier League Board, without former chairman Kgabung,has challenged their suspension

The unyielding Botswana Premier League (BPL) board is growing more defiant in the face of the suspension slapped on them by the Botswana Football Association (BFA).

The board is readying for potentially gruesome battles with the mother body over decisions they believe were taken on ‘emotional grounds’. According to information gathered by this publication, the board has moved swiftly, taking a jab at the BFA for first holding an unconstitutional meeting and secondly for inviting certain members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) allegedly close to the President Tebogo Sebego’s heart to suspend them.

A total of 9 chairpersons have prepared and signed a demanding letter challenging their suspension, and it is reportedly on its way to the President’s desk. The letter, seen by WeekendSport reads in part, ‘‘  it is not our intention herein to address each and every charge, allegation or what you term incidents of misconduct, such will be addressed at the appropriate time, including providing necessary documentary evidence to demonstrate that the charges levelled against the board are frivolous. The Board‘s concern is with the illegal gathering that was convened by the President and his lackeys that took the decision to suspend us.’’

The board is of the view that on July 15th 2016, the secretary of BFA sent an invitation to the special meeting of the BFA NEC, which was to be held at Lekidi Football Association on Wednesday 20th July, starting from 0830HRS.

The board said their suspension was never part of the agenda item and as such will not grow weary in showcasing that this has been a plan manufactured by certain individuals to oust them. ‘‘We hereby advise you that the board shall ignore such resolutions and shall continue to discharge its constitutional mandate of running the affairs pertaining to football in the Premier League,’’ the letter reads.

The board draws inspiration and out ward confidence from the fact that the chairman of the board, Okaile Rapula who also sits in the National Executive Committee was in the dark when the meeting to suspend them was convened.  ‘‘We are informed by the chairperson, that the NEC meeting concluded at approximately 1500hrs by a closing prayer by Mr Motai. After closure of the meeting and since there was no further business to be attended to, nor had any indication been given that there  shall be an additional agenda item, especially dealing with the Premier League, which the chairperson represents in the NEC, he duly left,’’ the letter stressed.

Sebego ‘s NEC suspended the board a week ago for condoning a match between Jwaneng Galaxy and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on 7th May 2016, which was against the wishes of the sponsor.

Another wrong was found in the board when they wrote to the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) to interfere with a premier league lawful playoff match.

The board transgressed again when they flatly refused to reinstate suspended league CEO, Bennett Mamelodi and his Personal Assistant (PA). Sebego had previously instructed them to recall Mamelodi as his charges were dropped. Instead, the board applied for a rejoinder to further argue Mamelodi’s case as respondents.

The Premier League board has again in another instance taken the BFA to court in a case involving the BPL CEO.

Both BPL and BFA refused to shed more light on the issue, but FIFA development officer Ashford Mamelodi believes that ‘‘it is a matter that is ignited by factions and on coming general elections’’.

He hopes that everything will be back to normal after the elections that have been moved to August 13.

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Sport

Talks to merge BNOC, BNSC resurface

14th September 2020
BNOC,BNSC merge

The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tumiso Rakgare, is eager to lead crunch talks that will consequently see Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) becoming one authoritative sport entity.

The appointment of one Tuelo Serufho to the plum position of BNSC Chief Executive Officer two week ago has further catalysed the intention to merge the sports bodies to avoid the long standing complaints of duplication of roles by the two.

Serufho was replacing Falcom Sedimo whose contract was not renewed.Serufho, ironically is the longest serving CEO of BNOC and also a board member of BNSC.“One of our aims is to form a robust sport body to centralize and improve decision making processes and maybe the time to resuscitate BNSC/BNOC merger is now,” Rakgare briefly shared.

The impending move is highly meant to improve effective functioning, governance and performance of sports in the country both locally and globally.Should this see the light of day, Botswana would have done itself a favour and it would start sending a handful of athletes to international competitions.

The amalgamation of BNSC/BNOC talks have been in the pipelines but discussions were aborted two years ago without clear reasons. The creation of this all-encompassing sport institution is overdue according to the minister.

“It is in fact our mandate to make sure this happens, it is overdue and by next year we hope to have finalised our position paper,” Rakgare added.The creation of the looming body is borne out of lessons learnt from various sports governance models around the world.

In South Africa, the sports ministry facilitated discussions to merge National Olympic Committee of South Africa (NOCSA) and the South African Sports Commission. Their authoritative sports body is now called South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).

With the South African model well in place, Botswana is urged to bench mark and create a sport body as a civic society-based organisation as required by the statutes of international sports bodies.The name of the local sport body is mooted and the minister refused to give a hint. But he is optimistic that the body will be the vanguard organization of sport in the country.

He emphasized that the sports organisation should be a purposeful guardian for governance and management of sports and be the required defining figure of the role of sports in Botswana’s communities.Talks to revamp and rebuild these sports bodies come at a time when BNSC is restructuring.

When Sedimo was still at the helm, he wanted to phase out some positions which he felt were unnecessary.BNSC receive close to 53 million Pula as grants from the government through the Ministry of Youth, Sports development and Culture empowerment while BNOC takes a figure a closer to that.

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Sport

P50 000 to expatriate Rollers players

14th September 2020
FRANCIS AFRIYIE

Township Rollers is anticipated to spent around P 50 000 to expatriate their foreign based players amid ravaging corona virus threats. The club, in collaboration with the Football Union of Botswana (FUB) tested Francis Afriyie, Fabian Assagou Guy and Kamogelo Matsabu before they can head to their native countries.

The trio are awaiting the results which are all expected to come out negative, following which they will immediately board planes to their various destinations. Afriyie was a Rollers striker from Ghana.

Matsabu, regarded the darling of the club is heading back to South Africa while Guy signed by the club but has never impressed, will board a plane back to Ivory Coast.It is likely that both Matsabu and Guy will return as they are still contracted to Rollers. However, Afriyie will not return after failing Rollers litmus test.

The striker failed to break into the starting 11 of head coach Frank Nuttall for the season and it appeared that frustration got to him. And when it finally knocked him down, the striker in a rough and unexpected remonstration stormed out of the bench while a Rollers game was on.

The former Gho Maria striker penned a two year deal in January and it is rumoured that his contract was heavily incentivized, catapulting him to being one of the highest paid players at Rollers.His end of season departure will now put a serious question mark over Rollers’ recruitment policy.

He becomes the fourth foreign striker to fail the club examinations and released while on contract. Before him was, Mthokosize Msomi from South Africa, Terrence Mandawa from Tanzania and Fabian Mbowa from Ivory Coast. Msomi and Mandawa’s release were sanctioned by former coach Nikola Kavazovic. Mbowa is loaned to Police XI to create space and playing opportunity for the now departing Afriyie.

Releasing Afriyie will now mean that the club’s striking woes continue. Rollers management complained at times last season at the lack of productivity from their strikers but they hoped that striker Tumisang Orebonye and other targeted signings, aided perhaps by Edwin Moalosi who remains on the books, could fire an upturn.

However, it was never meant to be as they finished the season second behind league winners, Jwaneng Galaxy.

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Sport

Leopards dump jilted Tsotso

7th September 2020
MOGAKOLODI TSOTSO NGELE

Black Leopards head coach, Joel Masutha, is reported to have orchestrated a move that could see mid fielder-cum-striker, Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele, being dropped by Leopards.

WeekendSport has learnt that the coach summoned the Zebras former captain to a one-on-one meeting a month ago to relay the bad news. It is reported that Masutha told the player that he is surplus to requirement and therefore he will not be selected for any game unless he opts to leave.

Reports further state that Tsotso was not encouraged to fight for his position but instead was told that there are better players to be tasked with scoring responsibilities and helping the club to dodge the dreaded relegation axe.Ngele therefore is waiting for his contract to expire before plotting his next move. He is said to be torn between playing for one more year in South Africa and coming to Botswana to play for high paying Township Rollers.

The Rollers decision will once again hinge on his private business which he would love to monitor closely. He owns a sports clothing label where he already signed a two year deal with Notwane FC.Ngele’s career at Leopards blew hot and cold. He only enjoyed his stay when his former coach Calvin Johnson was at the helm.

He played in crucial matches and his stunning free kick against log leaders Kaizer Chiefs is still remembered by his followers.However, there have been many other factors at play.It is said Ngele’s future at Thohoyandou- a location where Black Leopards is based- encountered problems of many kinds. His future is believed to have been dulled by injuries and a confidence that strangely refused to bloom.

The player is also said to have broken ranks with Leopards management where he shocked them when playing for the senior national team last year albeit claiming to be suffering from a thigh injury. Ngele had signed a two year deal, but as things stand, the left footed midfielder is heading out as his contract staggers to an end. He is believed to be earning close to R80 000 after tax deductions.

The lifestyle and living conditions at Thohoyandou are also seen as factors that further complicate Ngele’s situation hence the sudden collapse of concentration in football.Ngele is said to be represented by Tim Sukazi who still hopes that the player’s breakthrough career is worth fighting for.

When signed by high spending Mamelodi Sundowns almost 5 years ago, he was represented by Mike Makaab, also a renowned football agent in South Africa.It is growing precarious for Ngele who was chained for longer spells at Sundowns.

But when a move to Leopards was announced, there was a high expectation that the player was nearing his revolutionary season.

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