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Reprieved players accept GU call but…

Although Gaborone United (GU) has finally lifted the suspension slapped on both Jackie Motlhathego and Mandla Mgadla, fresh reports filtering through are that the player-management relationship is akin to a marriage on the rocks.

At best, information gathered by Weekendsport, indicates that both players want the team management to write them letters as proof that indeed their suspensions have been uplifted.

They believe this would be the right procedure as the management acted impulsively by slapping them with letters of suspensions without examining various options at their disposal.

According to information, the duo are seeking justice in their stand-off with the management, which is why they want the lifting of the ban to be put in writing.

Reports further state that unless there are compelling reasons, this should be easily done by the ‘Money Machine’ (as they are known) because the team needs them more than anything else.

GU, however, has refused to discuss details leading to the players’ suspensions, which have seen lethal striker Tebogo Sembowa out of action.

Communication manager Kabelo Brown, when responding to this publication’s inquiries, said they could not discuss issues of players with third parties. “Well, we cannot discuss what happens between us and players but for sure they have been pardoned and a normal procedure of writing to them will be done,” he said.

The Money Machine has been having a torrid time trying to discipline their players as the battle for Premier League top honours heats up. The team has collected a paltry 13 points from eight games and are lying in seventh spot on the log.

It has been evident since the commencement of the current season that the vacuum left by Mgadla and Jackie is proving hard to fill, hence the anxiety among supporters who want the impasse resolved as quickly as possible.

GU terminates Moeng contract

  • Feels the player lied about his fitness
  • Player faces gloomy future, with injury

Storm clouds are continuing to gather over Gaborone United’s (GU) clubhouse with latest information showing that the team has terminated injury-prone Bakang ‘Dolezar’ Moeng’s contract.

The Reds are reportedly upset at the player’s conduct after discovering that Moeng – a product of Uniao Flamengo Santos – had actually not disclosed the truth about his fitness levels.

Before the start of the season, the team undertook a trip to South Africa’s high performance centres where the squad was drilled in readiness for the upcoming season. Moeng, a midfield maestro, was in the GU party.

But through the intensive exercises, Moeng, who had indicated to the team that he had fully recovered from his knee injury seemed to cope with the training methodologies but only for a short while.

 Moeng, whom many GU admirers regard as the ‘heartbeat’ of the team, quit the rigorous training schedule as he suffered a recurrence. When taken to psychotherapists, management were advised that he should be sidelined as he had not completely healed.

Although GU remained cool, information says management officials felt betrayed by the player. On Thursday, this publication learned that GU finally delivered the bad news to the player that they had decided to terminate his contract.

This effectively means the player, who wears the team’s number 10 jersey, is facing a bleak future.

When reached for comment, he referred Weekendsport to the Players Union for any answers. 

Moeng was bought from UF Santos after some scintillating seasons with the Gabane-based outfit. He left the club with the likes of Tsotso Ngele, Thato Bolweleng and Boitshoko Zikhale for greener pastures. Moyagoleele was his immediate destination, but he never rose to his peak because of recurring injuries.

He joins a growing list of players banned for various offences. They include Makundika Sakala, Stephen Maposa and Jomo Moatlhaping.

GU officials could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

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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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