How Mara’s Gunners move collapsed
Kekaetswe ‘Mara’ Moloi’ s move away from his boyhood club, Mochudi Center Chiefs hit the buffers the time his team took a hard-line stance in tightening the grip on his hands and delayed to release his gratuity.
The player, whose contract expired in December of 2015 was on his way to arch rivals Township Rollers but it all hit a snag when the team opted to re-sign darling striker Terrence Mandaza. Extension Gunners who have been monitoring the situation seized the opportunity and procedurally informed Center Chiefs about the intentions to negotiate with him. Daniel Nare, Extension Gunners coach, who is also the club think tank in recruiting players, is believed to be the man who strived to pave way for Mara to land at the Peleng camp. Gunners’ utility player, Kemmy Pilato is also believed to have convinced the player to join them. The two players were team mates at a time Nare led the national under 20.
“It is disappointing that Chiefs are not releasing the registration book of the player yet he is not contracted to them,’’ Gunners chairman Phenyo Gothaang was quoted as saying.
Chiefs, reports suggest, deliberately delayed paying the player his gratuity dues until the transfer window closed. According to sources, this happened after the player and the team could not reach common ground. The premier league offices on Monday reported receiving nothing from Gunners and Chiefs regarding the movement of the player.
Mara who is still agonizing over whether his proposed move to Extension Gunners will be sanctioned is on the side lines, but he is free to train with any team of his choice until his status is thoroughly dealt with by relevant offices.
It is not clear as to whether Mara‘s over riding sense of duty forces him to turn out for Chiefs training. The player’s status is not categorized under amateur grounds, but his signing with Gunners might complicate matters. “As far as we are concerned Mara remains our player, we are still negotiating,’’ said Chiefs spokesperson Clifford Mogomotsi.
Chiefs have had their fair share of player trading sagas for some time now, and the last transfer window they fought tooth and nail over the movement of Galabgwe Moyana whose heart was set at Township Rollers.
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Itâ€™s do or die for Zebras
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 FĂ©dĂ©ration 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.”
OBED ITANI CHILUME STADIUM CERTIFIED
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.
Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society
Township Rollers, one of the countryâ€™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
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.