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BoBA courts North Africans

Down but not out Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) leaders, who are still reeling from the aftermath of the Olympic qualifiers fiasco, are contemplating forging new relations with the ring dominant North African countries.

An eight pugilists’ team which represented this country at the second Olympic qualifiers held at Yaoundé, Cameroon, failed to book themselves a berth at the 31st edition of the Olympics to be staged at Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in August. The outcome has coerced the boxing think tanks to look for new friends who will help the sinking boxing ship. “It is a sad moment for Boxing because it is the first time boxing has failed to qualify at least one boxer to the sport’s biggest show piece and as an association we have to go back to the drawing board and come up with plans and strategies that will enable us to perform in future endeavors,” BoBA President, Thato Patlakwe lamented.

According to the Association’s Secretary General and the team manager to Cameroon Irene Ntelamo, they courted their North African counterparts during the qualifiers.

“Though I’m yet to formally sit down with my boss (President) we have held preliminary talks about the possibility of a partnership in which we will interact with them in long camps without paying for other expenses like accommodation,” she said. Team coach Thebe Setlalekgosi corroborated Ntelamo’s statement, “we did meet them and they were happy and are willing to partner with us, they mostly adored our organization and the desire to reach for the skies. For me I will give the deal a thumbs up because if you can’t beat them you should join them, we are far from matching those countries so the option is we should learn from them and this deal could be what the doctor has prescribed for us.” The said countries are Algeria and Tunisia, powerhouses that have never missed the Olympic showdown.

The impending deal which has left the boxing enclave anxious is expected to replace the dilapidated relationship with South Africa and Lesotho. The deal was set to help in growing through strategic visits; however the agreement has since produced contrary results hence the need for better partners. The association’s head of technical Modisakgotla also lauded the prospective deal as the association plans an aggressive comeback for the 2020 Olympics. “That would help because those countries are super powers in boxing and if you remember we once had a partnership with Tunisia and we had positive outcomes.”

The BoBA executive committee will however engage each other in the boardrooms to carefully evaluate the marriage before they commit to avoid the similar catastrophe that befell them after agreeing a deal with South-Africa.  However just like the association President said during the welcome session, a deal with the Arabic nations could be some “of the plans and strategies that will enable us to perform in future endeavors,” BoBA is also putting more emphasis in resuscitating the ailing developmental structures.

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The 21-year-old was arrested in January last year amid allegations surrounding images and videos that emerged online.

He was later charged with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the charges were discontinued after a key witness withdrew their involvement.

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

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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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