Township Rollers’ highest paid foreign player, Manqoba ‘Shakes’ Ngwenya’s future at the club hangs in the balance as his contract nears its end. There are signs the club wants to release him.
The striker, whose deal will expire at the end of June, wants to remain at the club and win a new contract. Ngwenya will be closer to 40 years next season and is hoping to earn a one-year extension. Many however doubt that would be in line, especially following the team’s new general policy of players in their 30s and indications are that the management is considering selling him as a cost cutting exercise.
Since being the driving force in Rollers’ last title triumph in 2013-14, his first season at the club, Ngwenya fared well but suffered a few injuries while his form failed to reach its peak. In that opening season he scored less than 10 goals but under the current season, he currently holds 11 goals under his belt and has in many occasions been the messiah at Township Rollers.
Earlier in January, Ngwenya had stated that he was unsure about his stay at Rollers. “It is not up to me,” he said. “For the moment I am staying here. That is it really. I can’t look into the future. I don’t know what is going to happen after that. We shall have to wait and see.”
Reports further claim that his chances of staying at Rollers are slim given the nature of his relationship with Madinda Ndlovu. The former Rollers coach who resigned after losing the top 8 battle to cross town rivals, Gaborone United was the one who sanctioned Ngwenya’s move from Notwane to Rollers.
Ngwenya was head hunted by former Notwane’s controversial Chairman, Gift Mogapi with the aim of raising the club from its state of despair. But it became an illusion following the sudden disappearance of the chairman who even failed to secure accommodation for the player. Ndlovu and Township Rollers rescued the situation and signed him and he has been earning a salary of not less than P18 000.
However, ‘Shakes’ stay at The Blues will squarely be determined by other deliberations concerning foreign players. While battling to adhere to premier league laws of registering at least three players per season, the team is said to be preparing to run another rule on Lawrence Majawa whose age is also a major concern. He has been the heart beat of the team for so many seasons and indications are that his tenure is now rolling to an end. Jerome Louis is another foreigner who is to be assessed.
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.
Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.
Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.
The Forward 3.0 funds – to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.
According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.
“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,” Infantino noted.
The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.
“A contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and referees’ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,” the report indicated.
FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.
Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.
For the specific projects – in the case of Botswana and Namibia – there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.
The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.
When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; “Ours is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.”