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Orapa United: a dark horse in the league race


From its recent defeat of BDF XI and previously humiliating Mochudi Centre Chiefs  last round, it is quite clear Orapa United can no longer be ignored.


It is no wonder the Ostritches are the talk of town, their being third in the Premier League now means they are the new frontrunners in a race that has now started to resemble a crawl.


"Orapa United are favourites now," admitted BDF XI coach after a loss. "We thought we could capitalise on our game but it didn't work out and we were devastated in the end. What we have to do now is make sure that we use the loss as a springboard. We have a semi final coming up and we have to win it," he said.


BDF XI – whose coach is looking for a winning formula need 24 points to seize the top 4 berth. However, the Ostriches are playing with confidence after four successive wins, but back-to-back fixtures against Motlakase, Satmos and Gaborone United next month threaten to derail their progress. "We've got some big games coming up so it could be a defining month," Ostriches coach, Maxwell Moyo said.


But Orapa United is undoubtedly on a great run having won and drawn a few games, and with Rollers having lost once to them, any other slip up could mean Orapa United ascend to the second place on the board.


While Rollers had hoped successive victories were imminent from the matches against BDF XI, Chiefs and Notwane, luck turned on them resulting in more frustrations for the champions. A lack of attacking options has compounded things for the team, in the absence of injured Jerome Loius, coach Madinda Ndlovu was forced to introduce new players to gel with the club philosophy.


The contrast with Orapa United is stark. Against BDF XI, Moyo  brought in Patrick Lenyeletse, Hendrick Moyo and Patrick Motsepe to turn the game in Orapa s' favour. That strength in depth not only allowed Moyo to freshen things up but also let him rotate his players when the team's lengthy injury-list eases.


Whether GU who have been a model of inconsistency this season and are yet to face Orapa, will stay in the mix remains to be seen. For now all eyes are on Orapa United, this after Wednesday night when two of the top-four contenders flattered to deceive.


The team which comprises of several other teams within Boteti locality is just two points away from the defending champions. They have conceded 19 goals and found the net 25 times, an impressive record compared to their maiden appearance in the league last year. Late last year at this stage, the team was battling relegation with only 20 points from 20 games. They had only won 6 and lost 12 games and drawing on the other two.

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Finally, sponsors jerk BFA

30th January 2023

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.

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Clubs petition Zackhem, Jagdish Shah

23rd January 2023

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.

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P80 million windfall for BFA

9th January 2023

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.”

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