Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Executive Committee (NEC) last week took an affirmative resolution to conclude the 2019 /2020 football season, ultimately crowning Jwaneng Galaxy as BTC Champions.
Masitaoka and Sua Flamingos were subsequently promoted to the elite league after they were declared Debswana First Division South and North Champions respectively. Meanwhile Molepolole City Stars, Miscellaneous and TAFIC are relegated to the lower division.
The move by the BFA to declare the 2019/2020 season followed a recommendation from BFA Medical committee, which had been mandated to prepare the report regarding the possibility of return of action for 2019/2020 football season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Medical Committee is made up of 12 members under the stewardship of Lone Bogwasi as the Chairperson, Mpho Bogopa as the Vice Chairperson, Kaelo Kgosiyang as the Secretary, the current BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo, Tsoletso Magang representing BFA NEC (also a medical committee overseer) and Boago Gabontshiwe from Women Football League amongst the others.
According to the BFA Medical Committee report, the most ideal time to return is when a vaccine has been discovered or proven effective treatment, however the Medical Committee is quite aware of the fact that return to football may not be possible to achieve anytime soon as it may take several months or years to achieve.
However according to the report returning may be possible with a series of tests. “Without these, a safe return can be possible with a series COVID -19 testing hence we advise that we exercise patience in observing the disease evolution and in dealing with the matter bearing in mind that we have limited testing capacity nationally to allow a compulsory regular pre-match COVID-19 testing for all teams,” reads the report.
The medical committee recommended that upon the resumption of the football activity, each team should have a trained medical person (should always be present at team trainings/games) thus, the said personnel should be a doctor or physiotherapist who is understanding of the country’s limitations, the ideal person should have a basic first aid certificate and have undertook the proposed BFA COVID-19 infection control training.
The report further suggests that serial COVID-19 testing done weekly is mandatory to aid the daily screening in ensuring a safe participation of the athletes.
“If the testing is not financially feasible and BFA NEC rules to resume activity; based on the low local transmission rate of COVID-19 Pre Competition Medical Assessment (PCMA) and rely on daily screening which is only 60 percent effective,” the committee recommends.
Upon the compliance of the teams during the training sessions, each team in the initial two weeks shall divide training seasons into groups of two or more which will train in different sessions to minimize contact and ensure social distancing.
“Daily screening of players before training. Screening should be done by the medic responsible for the team who undergone the BFA COVID-19 infection control training and the person designated to conduct the screening should wear protective clothing (face mask, plastic apron/ coat and gloves),” indicates the BFA medical report.
According to some of the recommendations by the committee, during pre-match the use of dressing rooms were to be prohibited hence a case by case basis scenario will be employed for the use of ablutions inside the dressing room.
The report further indicate that teams will use designated stands as an alternative to dressing rooms. During match day, the committee suggested that the games be played behind closed doors without supporters until further notice.
“Disinfection of the stadium is to be done on corridors, rails, stands that will be used by teams and attendants, team benches, goal post and any area that might be in near contact with match attendants. This should be done 3-4 hours prior to and after every match while fumigation is to be done after facility has been in contact with a COVID -19 infected individual,” notes the report.
Meanwhile the report further indicate that, failure to comply, no team shall be allowed to participate in the league. In addition, the committee recommended that league games be played in tournament style, with a maximum of two matches in one stadium per match and there should be at least 2-3 hours in between to allow for disinfection before other teams can use the facility.
Township Rollers Head Coach, Nikola Kavazovic, has left a note on management’s table addressing the futures of Galabgwe Moyana and Lemponye Tshireletso. The duo had their stay at the club in the spotlight as debate over refreshing the squad raged on.
It is reported that Kavazovic had scheduled talks with the attacking midfielders as he seeks to convince them to stay for one more season at the club. The gaffer wants to turn the club’s pot of gold into silverware one more time.
Moyana had already offered himself to premier league rookies, Masitaoka Football Club.However, Rollers has other experienced players and the expectation is that many titles will still be won.
However, the club has made it known that it wants to traverse a torrid passage of CAF champion’s league, reaching group stages, at the very least.It is in this regard that Kavazovic will wants Moyana and Tshireletso to stay.
He hopes their injury nightmares will be arrested hence they could take leading roles to stir the Rollers ship to victory again.More often than not during the last season, their absence left Rollers struggling.But they too, could struggle to return to full fitness missing the opportunity to drive Rollers back to glory days, alongside the rest of Roller veterans in skipper Maano Ditshupo and Ofentse Nato.
But the team’s insistence and promise to make a loud impact in the coming season is still awaiting confirmation. The duo in particular will have to stand strong otherwise the ambition mirrors a tomorrow that will never come.
Engendered into the multi-million project of Jagdish Shah, the players were recruited to embody the present and future of the club and true to that testament, both have played a pivotal role for Rollers to win more silverware.
The talent of the duo, after reuniting with Kavazovic, should make the case for Rollers to once again make headline impact, particularly in the CAF competition starting next year January. Kavazovic agrees that as a unit they could find an edge as clubs are preparing for a return to the field.
Away from the Rollers stage, both players have won many titles with Mochudi Centre Chiefs and are still loved by their followers.When reached for comment, Rollers media liaison officer, Phempheretlhe Pheto, said there are in fact four players who were supposed to leave the club.
He said all will be decided after talks are completed as each player will face the management about the way forward.“It is not only the two guys, they are about four players whose contracts have expired but each one of them is expected to negotiate with management. Their future will be determined by the outcome of the talks,” he said.
The other two players are Kaone van der Westhuizen who is playing as a left back as well as Bogosi Nfila who was signed to bring goals.
Botswana international defender, Lesenya Ramoraka’s situation at TS Galaxy has been explained by his agent Tumi Gabonamong.
The 26 year old defender found himself in a tight situation after his club; Highlands Park’s status was bought by renowned football agent Tim Sukazi of TS Galaxy.
The sudden changes meant that some players were to be released by the team to accommodate new recruitments and changes at the club. As the club status was acquired, Ramoraka’s contract at Highlands was left with a year and the club opted to keep him despite spending much time on the side-lines due to injuries.
According to Gabonamong the lanky left back is part of the new TS Galaxy team although he was not included in the team list for this season. As per information gathered, Ramoroka will only be registered with the team in the next transfer window slated for January.
“He is very much still part of the team. He is currently nursing an injury he sustained during the bubble games. He will of course start training end of November or beginning of December. They’ll only register him in the next transfer period, he’s part of the team,” said Gabonamong.
Ramoraka has proven himself since joining the team in 2018 from Orapa United. Lee as Ramoraka is known in football circles has so far played 29 games for the team, netting only once.
“Ramoraka is one of the players that survived the changes at the team, remember the team doesn’t have many left backs and he is a quality player having so far cemented a place in the starting line-up. I believe after his injury he will fight for a place as usual.
That is why the team kept him therefore people shouldn’t worry that he is not registered this season.There is no need to register a player when you know he will be out for some time. It is only advisable for you to offer him more playing time more especially that he is a foreigner this side.
Again, his injury is healing and he will come back sooner than later. The aim is to keep him this side even when he might not renew his contract but chances are he will be with the team for some time because they have shown much value on him,” explained the wife of former Zebras midfielder, Mogogi Gabonamong
RECONCILED? Former Zebras Coach tshosane and former BFA President Sebego
In the build up to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Executive Committee elections, former Senior National Team Coach, Stanley Tshosane had threatened to sue presidential aspirant, Tebogo Sebego, after the latter made suggestions on national radio that the performance of the national team was appalling during the former’s tenure.
Tshosane, who claimed reputational damage, said a number allegations made by Sebego were baseless and unfounded. Sources say Tshosane was livid that Sebego tarnished his reputation and integrity when he deposited averments on national broadcasters to the effect that the national team performance had reached its lowest ebb before the appointment of Brighton Peter Butler.
The Englishman came to supplant Tshosane just a year after The Zebras returned from their maiden African Cup of Nations edition of 2012.Tshosane was therefore ready to draw first blood and demanded retraction, further threatening a legal route in the event Sebego did not act as prescribed.
According to sources close the developments, Sebego however demonstrated leadership qualities and apologized, letting bygones be bygones. Sources say the former BFA administrators have smoked a peace pipe especially that Sebego’s ambition of becoming president disappeared a fortnight ago when he lost again to MacLean Letshwiti in a tightly contested election.
The animosity between Tshosane and Sebego first played out in 2013 when Sebego’s administration sacked the former coach, giving one simple explanation that he was failing to inspire the collective belief within the national squad.
It is said that Tshosane never forgave the past administration for firing him especially that he was on sick leave at the time the letter was delivered to him by the then Chief Executive Officer, Keith Masters. Tshosane was fresh from penning a new deal when he was terminated. At the time he sought legal redress claiming prejudice.
It is not yet clear if Tshosane and the BFA administration have ironed out their differences. When his situation grew precarious in 2013, he felt he was sabotaged by the people he trusted.But sources say the Jackalas number 1 born coach now enjoys a healthy relationship with the association and that is why there is talk suggesting his possible return.
Tshosane was not available for comment as his phone rang unanswered while Sebego refused altogether to share details saying; “I cannot respond to allegations, I mean we need to be respected, this is just senseless.”
Stan, who is now over 60 years, was first appointed to the position of Botswana Senior National Team Coach in 2008, following a short spell as caretaker coach. In 2012, he led the Zebras to their first appearance in AFCON 2012 co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
A year later, in October, after BFA new leadership assumed power and he was sacked for failing to re-write his 2012 success football story. Critics then suggested he was only offered the job because the football association could not afford to hire a better reputable “name’’.
Stan had previously been assistant to the Serbian mentor, Veselin Jelušić, as well as English manager, Colwyn Rowe, for the national team.
Whilst working as an assistant for the national team, he had also been manager of the Botswana Defence Force XI (BDF XI) for a lengthy spell. Stan had also played for BDF XI in his glory days as a football player.