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BONA set to restore national pride

Following the disappointing failure to book itself a berth at the Netball World Cup in Australia next year, the senior national netball team is fighting hard to redeem the integrity and pride of Botswana at the ongoing Nations Cup in Singapore.

Botswana, ranked 16th in the world, is the second highest country in the world rankings among teams taking part at the Singapore competition, after Oceania counterparts Samoa (14), had a tricky assignment against Papua New Guinea on Friday in a game that could have gone either.

Guinea is ranked just below the local girls at position 17 and has only accumulated two points after winning against the lowly ranked European side, Ireland (27) by 56-35, will be aiming to claim the scalp of Botswana to equal points with the local girls.

Botswana should win against the Oceania nation to finish the group in position three and possibly in second position after the uncompromising Samoa, should the host Singapore lose their clash against Malaysia. The local girls have collected four points out of possible eight after winning only two games.

On day one, Botswana beat Ireland by 50-39; many expected the African girls to simply walkover the European side looking at the world rankings but the margin remained respectable for Ireland. The Ntebo Maplanka lasses could not get the better of the hosts in the second game as they lost by a slim margin of 46-41. ‘’There were many silly mistakes that we made. These should not be happening in a tight game like the one we just had,’’ Maplanka said. The local girls started the first two quarters well and concentration lapses are said to have cost Botswana points.  

The local girls had an uphill battle on day three when they locked horns with Samoa who were making their debut appearance at the tournament; Botswana lost the encounter by 49-34. ‘’ The problem for us was that they took a long time to read Samoa’s game and adjust to their style and physicality of the match. By the time they had caught up and understood how they play, the match was already done.’’ Maplanka said after the game.

In the last game before they went for break, Botswana thrashed Malaysia 51-36, the two sides met for the first time and one would have assumed that the African representative would have a field day but with both teams playing a physical game, netball lovers where thrilled to a spectacular game. After the game the local goal scorer Hildah Binang said, “I think we did really well as a team today. I was rushing my shots a bit but as a team we really worked hard for the win. We play PNG on Friday and we really believe we can win that one.’’

After their PNG showdown Botswana will feature in the playoffs on Saturday, with the closing ceremony being hosted on Sunday. The team has included enterprising athletes and the intention was to give them a hint of the world stage. 

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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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