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Tsotso hands in apology

In a move seen as a fence-mending strategy, Platinum Stars midfield dynamo Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele has apologised to the Zebras technical team following his impulsive decision to storm out of the camp when national team coach Peter Butler appeared to have momentarily lost control of the squad.


WeekendSport has established that the player has forwarded a letter to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) technical team, showing his remorse and regret for literally ‘walking away’ from the national team camp.


Tsotso, who will be joining South Africa’s high flying Mamelodi Sundowns in January, is reported to have drawn inspiration and encouragement from his agent Mike Makaab to always remain calm regardless of circumstances gnawing at his football life.


Those familiar with the development say Ngele’s intemperate behaviour must be tamed as quickly as possible before it ballooned to something catastrophic.


 “His agent has lately noticed a trace of bad attitude in him, which is why he has forced him to unreservedly apologise,” a source, who did not wish to be named, revealed.


Information gathered by this publication shows that the technical team is ready and more than willing to accept the youngster‘s confession more so that he has indicated in writing he is ready for another call-up.  


The BFA technical report, which is to be reviewed soon, is believed to include the issue of the player and Ofentse Nato who, too, had fallout with the coaches. Reports from Lekidi Football Centre suggest that the two players’ issues will be discussed at the national executive committee (NEC) level although their reinstatement is almost a certainty.


It is reported that contrary to the demand of the English head coach, Nato, who plies his trade at Atheltico de Kolkata of the Indian Super League, did not want him to apologise as the national technical team was willing ‘to let the sleeping dogs lie’.


Moreover the technical team was not expecting Ngele’s apology, nor were its members demanding it in writing. But Mike Makaab, who has analysed the situation comprehensively, felt his client needed to take some damage-control measures.


It is reported that Makaab initially warned Tsotso, in a fatherly manner that he should be careful never to lose his cool. It is said Makaab asked Tsotso to be mindful of the fact that multi-millionaires at Mamelodi Sundowns were monitoring his steps in every way.


The Tshwane-based outfit have managed to pull Ngele to their camp, but decided to loan the Botswana international back to his club for a season-long spell.


Although Tsotso‘s strength of character cannot be underestimated, Butler, the head coach of Zebras is believed to have deeply hurt the former UF Santos striker when accusing him of ‘failing the team’. Words that Butler himself has since denied.


Tsotso’s performance in the international stage cannot be doubted. But since the touted move to Mamelodi Sundowns, psychological aspects to his play have always been on the rise. He is believed to fear to aggravate his injury which might jeopardise his chances of playing abroad.


Ngele knows he has an overriding sense of duty to turn for Zebras camp as a professional. Following the meeting with his agent that consequently led to his apology, he is expected to return to camp when Botswana takes a giant leap of faith to restore the dented pride against Tunisia and Senegal.


 Ngele remains the only player to have a scored a goal for Botswana in AFCON finals in open play. That was the time when the country lost Mali by 2-1 in 2012.
 

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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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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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