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BDF XI coach goes AWOL

BDF XI Coach Beston Chambeshi

Botswana Defence Force (BDF) XI football team is finding itself fielding difficult questions amid mounting reports that Beston Chambeshi, the club coach, has disappeared without a trace, WeekendSport has been told.

The team is reportedly setting off the pre-season time with obscurity as attempts to locate the Zambian coach and establish the motive of his absence heighten.

Information from sources at the club indicate that Chambeshi who was recruited during the just ended 2015-16 season had a fall out with the club hierarchy before he went AWOL (absent without leave). The lower note, they allege, was hit when the team’s on loan striker, Patrick Kaunda was left to sign with Gilport Lions. It is said Chambeshi held the Zimbabwean striker in high regards and therefore felt let down by those responsible for players’ coming in and going out of the team.

Adding salt to injury, the club is on the verge of losing star defender, Mosha Gaolaolwe to Township Rollers despite the coach reportedly having expressed desire to lead the team with him. It proves to be a mammoth task for the army side to recruit players who are not soldiers by profession. The institutional team is contemplating changing their recruitment policy where only soldiers will be given priority in the team. All this is believed to have weighed heavily on the Zambian tactician.

Chambeshi signed with the army side a season ago to help steward the club ship to calm waters. His first major assignment was the prestigious top 8 tournament where he drove the team to the semi final spot.  He left the team occupying the fourth position in the beMOBILE premiership log, although the winners have not yet been declared.

The Zambian coach was fired by a club called Nkana FC back in his country before BDF XI gave him a life line in 2015. Efforts to reach the club’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) proved futile at the time of going to print.  

Chambeshi has coached Kgatleng giants, Mochudi Centre Chiefs in the past, and by local standards, is a brilliant mentor.

Serbian born mentor, Dragojlo Stanojlovic is believed to be eyeing the post should BDF XI come clean on the issue. The former Gaborone United and Extension Gunners coach is currently jobless after enduring turbulent spells with the aforementioned clubs including Mochudi Centre Chiefs-his first team to coach in Botswana.

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

30th January 2023

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.

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Clubs petition Zackhem, Jagdish Shah

23rd January 2023

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.

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P80 million windfall for BFA

9th January 2023

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.”

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