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Will judokas maintain the good work?

Botswana Judo Federation (BJF) has returned home with impressive results after performing far beyond what was set as a target for a team of fifteen Judokas that took part in the Common wealth games that were held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa recently by returning home with two gold medals through Thato Lebang (under 73 Junior) and Tumiso Phuthego (under 50 pre cadet).

Judokas were bit by the buck of lack as  they also managed to get silver medals, through Letlhogile Tsheko (under 66 junior), Gwafilao Tema (under 50 pre cadet),Lucky Mabaka (under 48 cadet )Maitumelo Kebadilwe (under 44 pre cadet ).The team also pocketed bronze medals by Gavin Mogopa (under 55 junior ) ,Maatla Serokana (under 55  cadet ,Phadi Baboile (under 48 pre cadet ).

Thato  and Gavin who have a noticeable journey in various competitions and highly regarded  athletes played  the seniors as well during the competitions and they both got a bronze medal and also finish on top 8 in their respective categories. This current wins and including other success means that Gavin and Thato they are player to reckon with and that they can still pull some surprises come the Olympic time in Rio this year.

While the federation could not set the eyes on high hills without knowing the way down of the hill side, it can be said that the plan to grant players exposure was achieved despite the fact that all of them didn’t bring medals. Furthermore, the federation will be now hopeful of better results in the future from promising athletes such as Edwin Sello,and Neo Kapeko in the senior category. Also, this will be more beneficial for development for the young stars such as Maatla Serokana, Gwafila Tema,Tumiso Phuthego female, and Maitumelo Kebadilwe, even though they  didn’t turn out to be a big story in their respective categories.

According to coach Kingsley shared that “We went there mainly for exposure particularly for Pre Cadets & Cadets but our commitment did wonders”. The exposure given the young stars appears to be a step in the right direction for the Judokas “We have a very good team going forward, all we need to do is to continue working even harder and take our athletes out for international training camps especially prior to competitions”, coach further mentioned.

Sensei Kingsley Segokotlo Tumpane,the head coach who received his coach certificates last year from the university of Tokai in Japan says that the secretes of their success is that  they have been working very hard over the years, train perennially even when there are no upcoming events. Coach, further, revealed that  they also have the best development, some of our athletes started doing judo when they were as young as 6 years, “I think that's what basically gave us an upper hand”, he added.

Prior to their departure to South Africa, head coach, Sensei Kingsley Segokotlo Tumpane shared that as a federation they only hoped for at least three medals and the results accrued heralds that the probability of snatching three medals were just a stone throw away reality. Coach remained firm that they are also to preparing players for local games by giving them international exposure to boast their confidence. However, the question is will this pulsating success constitutes mission accomplished for them, considering the fact that some of the Judokas have undertaken fights in both the seniors and the juniors that being the duo Gavin and Thato Botswana stars.

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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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