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Chiefs’ protest attracts backlash

Rollers Coach, Mark Harrison

Ailing Mochudi Center Chiefs ‘holocaust plan’ to initiate a second protest on their  Mascom Top 8 encounter against blood rivals Township Rollers has gone down as the most ill informed decision manufactured to destroy the promising career of Ofentse Nato.

The protest questioning the validity of Nato’s transfer threatens to rekindle personal clashes between premier league club authorities and the out-spoken national team coach, Peter James Butler who has openly criticized the move.

Butler together with Rollers mentor, Mark Harrison were visibly irked when Chiefs attempted a fresh move to stop Nato from playing last Saturday’s game between the two rivals at the Francistown stadium.

A feud of words erupted between Butler and Gilport Lions shortly after the protest. Just before kick off time, Butler commented on the social media network, Twitter that ‘‘it would be good to see Nato tonight, let’s put football first and nonsense second, he is a major player in the Zebras squad, we need him.’’

Following Butler’s account, Gilport Lions who are fresh from losing Nato’s case frowned upon the head coach’s words and came out with guns blazing.

"It is unfortunate to see the tweet from the National Coach on the Nato ‬issue. All we can say is that we have a right to raise any issue that we feel aggrieved on and we will follow all legal steps to pursue such issues without fear or favour,” Gilport Lions chairman Kelesitse Gilika said.

Gilport Lions’ management further added that, “what may seem as nonsense to the National Coach may not necessarily be nonsense in our books. We do not believe in breaking all the rules in pursuit of an end. Does the fact that Nato is needed by the National coach exempt him from set rules? This issue is still subject to Appeal so it is regrettable that the National Coach could make his views in the public arena so pre-maturely. We consider this an error in judgment and hope it will never be repeated.”

Although Gilport Lions’ comments were meant to shoot Butler straight in the heart, Rollers’ mentor, Mark Harrison was not amused either by Chiefs’ action and seized the opportunity to condemn the ‘way ward behavior’. He said, ‘‘I’m very disappointed by these guys (Chiefs)! Why should they be doing this? They have the time and money to come and do all this?
There are a lot of people who need such money; perhaps if they had donated the money to kids in the streets, it would have made much sense. They need to be professional and this is just a waste of time.’’

The comments made by Harrison seem to mirror what many football pundits were saying regarding the amount of money Chiefs have so far paid to lodge their protests. So far the team has splashed around P20 000 to ensure that Nato’s case is thoroughly dealt with. It is however a wild goose chase for a team fighting to retain title championship to be caught in the wrong side of how best to use their finances.

Fighting for justice regarding Nato case means more money yet the team’s players remain unpaid. Dirang Moloi is a prime example of a player at logger heads with his team regarding his monthly salary. In December of last year, it is said players were each given P200 as bonuses- incentives regarded as peanuts looking at the status of the club.

Clifford Mogomotsi- the club‘s media liaison however sees things in a different light. He is of the view that it is in the best of football interest “to leave no stone unturned in the Nato case”. He believes all clubs should be treated equally in remits of the football laws.

‘‘This is not a case of revenge. We should understand that we are on course to ensure that football justice prevails. No team should be placed above the law. All the clubs are equal and we still believe we have a serious case here,’’ he said.

Nato’s case is not the first to bring conflict between the national team head coach and Chiefs. The Briton, Butler was once involved in a feud with Chiefs officials regarding another player Lesego Galenamotlhale‘s credentials as 2014-15 player of the season at the expense of Rollers midfielder Segolame Boy. The two parties were fighting fire with fire until the Botswana Football Association (BFA) intervened.

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Sport

Gov’t reviews Sport Policy

17th November 2020
Netball

The Government of Botswana through the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, has expressed its underlying desire to reawaken and improve sport policy.

This is also in line with the declaration made by President Mokgweetsi Masisi in his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) this week about the need to improve sport performance in the country.
The sport policy was first enacted in 2001 when the Department of Sport and Recreation was under the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs.

The review of this policy is expected to commence soon and strive to address all socio-economic problems bedevilling sport. The examination will start from the elements that speak to the direct processes of national dialogue of sport and come up with recommendations for improvement.

As things stand, the Sport Ministry has coordinated a task force to deal with the taxing issue of school sports where teachers have downed tools demanding special kind of payment for partaking in extracurricular activities. The government through various means has been made aware that sport forms an integral part of the country’s vision.

If the policy is finally revised, the country and other stakeholders will eventually achieve national development, unity and continued economic growth. “The national Sport Commission Act is also being reviewed to facilitate sport to contribute to the economy through commercialization and professionalism, as well as to improve the welfare and the rights to our sportspersons,” Masisi said in his address.

The review will once again take a long route of extensive consultative processes where critical factors were initially identified as continuous constraint to sport development. There is a wide ranging view that sport is solely for recreation. This anomaly is fast becoming a matter of yesteryears as more athletes are making a living out of sport.

In October of 1997, a discussion paper on sport policy development was prepared. At the time, the workshop brought together policy and decision makers. The discussions precisely centred on issues of sport participation and development. Participants included among others, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC), Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) and National Sports Associations.

There was the discovery of limited funding in sport and poor sporting facilities in the country. This has negatively impacted on the performance of national sports associations, particularly on the global stage. As a measure to this problem, the government has decided to build 10 mini stadia to up participation and performance.

In 2001 when the policy was formulated, there was an agreement that the national guiding principles of democracy, development, unity, self-reliance and botho are cardinal to the development strategy of socio-economic development planning. The Ministry believes that sport and recreation in Botswana have a close relationship with all these national principles.

When speaking to this publication, the Chief Executive Officer of BNSC, Tuelo Serufho said there is indeed an overwhelming appetite to improve sport performance and participation in the country.
“Yes we need to engage both BNSC and BNOC to improve and review the sport policy more because it has been overtaken by time…it needs to be aligned with modern sports trends,” Serufho briefly shared.

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Sport

FIFA orders Chiefs to pay former coach

17th November 2020
Philani Mabhena

The world football governing body, Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), has ordered trouble torn Mochudi Centre Chiefs to compensate their former coach, Philani Mabhena, after unceremoniously dismissing him in the summer of 2019 with only a few months left on his contract.

FIFA agreed with Mabhena that Magosi, as Chiefs are affectionately called breached his employment contract. FIFA is of the view that Chiefs had no prima facie evidence that could lead to unilateral termination of a contract. The decision of FIFA’s status committee is that Chiefs should pay the Zimbabwean born coach an amount of BWP 111, 100 within 30 days.

The money is divided into two categories. BWP 56 100 which is derived from the period of 11 August 2019 until the end of contract. The other amount is P55 000 which was accumulated between January 2019 until a time he was sacked. Those amounts was accumulation of unpaid wages.

FIFA warned that more stringent action will be taken against Chiefs should they fail to deposit the amount before the set deadline. Mabhena claimed that Chiefs, before his contract was terminated, was never paid his signing on fee of P 15 000 as settlement remuneration.

He also argued that he had gone a couple of months without receiving his monthly wages. According to the terms of the contract, he was supposed to be paid P 15 000 every month. Chiefs to their bravery, has accepted the outstanding salary arrears of the former coach that stretched to P 56 100.

FIFA accused the shrinking Kgatleng giants of negligence and refusal to honour contractual obligations and this has brought far reaching consequences. Should Chiefs fail to honour FIFA orders, they are likely to be banned from signing coaches and players. They are also likely to forfeit points when the football season begins until full payment is completed.

The debts come at a time when the club desperately seeks a premier league return. They were rumoured to be eyeing to buy one premier league status to compete for the grandest prizes like before.
Chiefs were relegated because of poor administration at board level. The team tried many times to professionalize but each attempt was beaten by the club society raging wars that consequently stalled progress.

Mochudi Centre Chiefs sporting club was first registered in July of 1974. The club was registered as a society under the societies Act of Botswana as a football team. It is noted that the club participated in the upper league of BFA under the terms prescribed in the constitution of the association together with the confinement of the societies act.

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Sport

Sua fires coach…

17th November 2020
Sua-fires-coach…

Premier League rookies, Sua Flamingos have fired their coach Raizor Tsatsilebe for allegedly speaking up for his players. Tsatsilebe who joined the team last season and helped them win Debswana First Division North league, was at the end of the season thanked with a one year contract extension.

His stay at Sua was to end in July of 2021 but things took a turn for the worst recently when management was said to be fed up with his demands. Reports claim that the Sua management felt the coach was more on the side of the players and did not approach things holistically, a move that led to his untimely expulsion.

“Since his arrival this side, he has been vocal about treatment of players, their welfare and as you know, players here have not been receiving their salaries but are given allowances on monthly basis. He felt maybe the club should at least pay half salaries as they have now resumed training. He also requested that the team should sign some players but that did not happen despite promises by the club. The final nail was when management left his goalkeeper coach, Terence Modikwe and signed Kagiso Tshelametsi without consulting him,” said a source at the team.

The club Chairman, Tirelo Thebe, confirmed that they have decided to part ways as with the feeling that they can no longer work together. “Yes it’s true we met with the coach and we agreed to terminate his one year contract because the relationship has soured. We cannot disclose more than this because it’s an internal matter and in the meantime our assistant coach will take over on interim basis while we look for his replacement,” said Thebe.

Tsatsilebe on his part felt hard done by the team after promoting them to the elite league- something they have been failing to achieve. “They are the ones who opted to terminate the contract not me and they couldn’t give me reasons why they are terminating. It’s a pity we coaches encounter such things in our lives but it has to continue,” said the 49 year old coach.

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