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Pio Paul gets award for exceptional start

Extension Gunners coach Keitumetse “Pio” Paul has been named the inaugural coach of the month following his side’s brilliant start in the newly branded beMobile Premiership.

Paul, who took over the reins at the Lobatse based club after his unceremonious departure from the employ of Botswana Football Association (BFA) where he was the Under-23 football team coach and assistant to senior national team coach Peter Butler.

Paul led the rejuvenated former local football giants to a best start ever in many years. After four games, Gunners sit pretty well at the summit of the log and have overnight announced themselves as the team to watch this season.

The former Zebras player has been credited as one of the rising local coaches who will follow the footsteps of Major David Bright and Colonel Stan Tshosane who are the most recognised local coaches in terms of success.

Paul has proved that his tactics are on point. He has given his side to play with freedom while at the same time instilling the winning mentality in his well balanced side.

The temperamental man is ready to engulf the foreign coach dominated league which has been a concern lately. The beMobile Premiership has never been won by a local coach ever since the network giants came onboard in 2008.  It is also clear most of the traditional league challengers in the form of Township Rollers, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Gaborone United prefer foreign coaches.

Paul also experienced relative success during his early coaching days when he guided BMC (now Gilport Lions) to Coke Cup victory in 2007. There is a sense of relief that Paul finally lead “the sick man of Botswana football” to its resurgence.

One of the most supported teams in the country; Mapantsula supporters thronged the stadium in the team’s last encounter against Gaborone United. Not only was the crowd cheerful Paul was always on his feet throwing instructions to his troops to follow, ensuring that the chips do not fall.

In another beMobile Premiership Green Lovers’ Moatlhodi 'Sissoko' Ralesotla has won the inaugural player of the month award. Ralesotla has been instrumental in the Serowe based outfit satisfactory performance. Green Lovers has so far managed to win two of their first four games, which is impressive based on the verity that they are new comers.

Both Paul and Ralesotla have placed themselves on the pedestals as coach to watch and player to watch this season respectively.

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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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