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BNOC braces for Olympics

With only four months before the 31st edition of the Summer Olympics billed for Rio starts, the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) is going all out to ensure that Botswana celebrates her 50th golden jubilee with at least two medals from the world games.

Briefing members of the fourth estate on the team preparations this week, the Chef De Mission (CDM) of team Botswana Moses Moruisi, shared the team’s anticipated performance.

“Our best ever Olympic performance at the Olympic Games is a silver medal in 2012. For 2016, our plan is to beat that, both in terms of number and or type of medal as well as the numbers of finals reached by our athletes.”

He continued to say, “for the 2016 Games, we are aiming for two (2) medals. Such performance, we are convinced will be the greatest gift Batswana could receive just before celebrating 50 years of independence. Botswana will send a strong team of quality athletes,” he said.

As for the preparations for the games, progress is on track to bring the desired results. Currently the 2012 silver medalist Nigel Amos is under rigorous preparations at Potchefstroom, with Onkabetse Nkobolo also fine tuning himself in Madrid, Spain. Isaac Makwala is currently preparing himself in Botswana. The three have already booked themselves a ticket for the Olympics.

“Later this year, the trio will move to Europe where they will compete in a few international meets before the Rio Games,” Moruisi told journalists.

Other codes that are still battling for a berth at the Olympics are busy with preparations include the likes of Judo, who are currently in Tunisia after other lengthy preparations in Japan. The swimming duo of Naomi Ruele and David Van Der Kof are also trying their luck to make it to Brazil, while Boxing is on an international camp in Morocco with the qualifiers beginning this Monday in Cameroon.

However, with the South American nation battling with the Zika Virus BNOC says it is concerned about the situation.

“Like the rest of the world, we are concerned about the outbreak of the virus in South America; Brazil in particular. We are worried about the welfare and health of our athletes and we are in constant engagement with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to monitor the situation and advice us accordingly.” Moruisi further added that, “Closer to the Games however, we will make a call regarding our participation or otherwise, based on guidance we will have received from MoH, International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Health Organization (WHO) amongst others”.

With the doping scandals having hit the nation hard recently, the committee will go all out in ensuring that the issue becomes history.

“While our ‘regular’ education and testing programs will continue in 2016, for the team attempting to or already qualified for Rio, we have a robust education and testing program in place. Already we have started testing athletes and the plan is that those that will ultimately go to Rio will have been tested a few times before they go there.”

The other interesting highlight for this year’s games, is the IOC rule 40 which aims to protect the athletes and national Olympic committees as companies normally take advantage of athletes by associating themselves with success of athletes at games of this magnitude.

“Therefore, in order to protect the image rights of athletes and to protect the brand rights of National Olympic Committees, the IOC as well as Games Organizers, has issued regulations surrounding brand association with such properties. These regulations are the IOC Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter of which the BNOC shall strictly be applying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”

This therefore means that all companies who wish to brand themselves with the athletes should engage BNOC earlier.

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It’s do or die for Zebras

28th March 2023

The senior national team, the Zebras, is currently in Equatorial Guinea to for an African Cup of Nations Qualifiers tie. Before they departed, the team’s coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, had his troops train in Morocco. This was through the agreement between the two countries.

The agreement between the BFA and the Fédération Moroccan Football Association states that the two nations will work together to organize friendly matches between their respective national teams. It also allows the establishment of football camps for the youth categories (U-15, U-17, and U-20), this includes women’s national teams.

The national team has played over 180 minutes in its two qualifying matches against Tunisia and Libya. Currently, the Zebras, Lesotho and Liberia are the only teams that haven’t scored yet in the competition (this is correct by press time on Friday).

Before the match against Equatorial Guinea match, the local boys who were once known as the whipping boys of Africa in the early 2000s, were languishing at the bottom of the log standings in group J. They lost their first match away to Libya on June 1, 2022. However, they managed to salvage a point against Tunisia last year.

Before the team left for Equatorial Guinea, coach Mpote urged his players to focus on keeping their hopes of making a return trip to the AFCON finals alive after an 11 year absence since the maiden appearance in 2012. He noted that they would not allow their opponents to score and would ensure that they would get a draw.

Despite the various changes that have occurred in the two countries’ football landscape, the two teams have only met once before. In 2010, the local boys defeated the Equatorial Guinea team in a friendly match, which ended in an emphatic win for the visitors. Since then, the two sides have realised different fortunes in FIFA rankings, with Equatorial Guinea ranked 51 places above the Zebras.

Meanwhile, in their last six games, Guinea has only managed to win one of them. They drew with Rwanda and Togo in September 2022 friendlies. They have found the back of the net just twice in their six games. On the other hand, the Zebras, won one match against Zambia and lost four on their way to finishing at the bottom of the group with four points. At the conclusion of their previous AFCON campaign, the local boys traveled to Zambia and secured a draw.


Despite the recent results of the Guinean team, which have only managed to draw with Rwanda and Togo in their last six matches, coach Mpote is still confident that his team will perform well against the hosts.

According to the head coach, the local boys have the necessary skills and resources to perform well against any country. He noted that the team’s coaches have been studying abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects of football.

“Tactically they should also be ready. We need your (Botswana fans) usual support, when we come back from Equatorial Guinea, we will go to Francistown, and we will need you. You are our 12th player, and you are very important to us.”


This week, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Tuelo Serufho revealed that the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium will host the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the local boys and Equatorial Guinea. The venue had initially failed an inspection test conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). However, following the completion of the necessary works, the stadium was allowed to host the match.

According to BNSC Chief, Tuelo Serufho, the various requirements that the stadium must meet included having a designated parking area for the media and spectators, as well as having signage that will guide the spectators. He also noted that the venue now has a world-class media area.

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Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society

27th March 2023

Township Rollers, one of the country’s most decorated football clubs with 15 premier league titles, is finding itself in a precarious situation as its long-term chief financier, Jagdish Shah, threatens to dump them if the society does not bow down to his demand of forfeiting their 20 percent interest in the company.

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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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