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Zebby’s 7/10 show

The senior national team, the Zebras begun their quest for continental showpiece Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualification on Wednesday – when they lost one nil away to Mediterranean Knights of Libya at the Martyrs of February Stadium in Benghazi.

The game was a closely contested affair until the Libyans got what seemed to be a very soft penalty on the 55th minute. Gaborone United shot stopper, Goitseone Phoko saved the penalty but was beaten by a follow up shot from Salah Taher scored in the 56th minute to hand the Libyans much needed win in the Group J match played Martyrs to separate the two sides.

Zebras’ interim coach, Mogomotsi Mpote led the attack with Jwaneng Galaxy forward, Thabang Sesinyi who recently won the Botswana Football league’s golden boot with 24 goals. He was paired with Moroccan based duo of Tumisang Orebonye and Kabelo Seakanyeng who have scored a combined 15 goals for Olympique Club de Khouribga (OCK) of Morocco this season.

In midfield, coach Mpote opted to pair  MC Oujda midfielder Mothusi Cooper with Lebogang Ditsile who made a return to the national team colors following two and half years on the sidelines. They were joined by Orapa United’s Gofaone Mabaya whereas Thato Kebue, Mothusi Johnson were deployed on the right back and left back positions respectively; while the team’s captain, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe and Mosha Gaolaolwe started in the heart of the defence.

Zebras and the Mediterranean Knights have met four times and on two occasions the teams have played to a draw, with the home side winning two fixtures. Zebby as they are affectionately known started the game on high note as they knocked the ball around because Cooper and Ditsile were able to marshal the Mediterranean Knights of Libya, however the final ball let the team down.

In the second half, the introduction of GU attacking players, Thero Setsile and Mpho Kgaswane posed more danger to the home team as the duo created more spaces and opportunities for Orebonye but the he couldn’t connect to the goals.

In an interview with this publication, Nelson Olebile who is the head coach of Mogoditshane Fighters said he could give the team performance a scale of 7/10 considering the fact that the team had limited time for preparation since the departure of Adel Amrouche.

“We never had time to assemble a competitive squad to prepare for the AFCON 2023 qualifiers, we only had chance to play Eswatini on our transit to Libya which wasn’t enough as we didn’t have time to do combinations and also understanding of players,” he told WeekendSport.

Olebile revealed that combinations play is a vital part as players are coming from different places and teams as players had longest time without playing together. “Zebras performance on Wednesday night was marvelous to watch considering the previous qualifications; normally we know when Zebras play at the Northern African especially when they play Arabic countries, we play defensive and wait to catch our opponents on counter attacks,” said former Masitaoka head coach.

“On Wednesday the boys had confidence, look at Cooper and Ditsile they were able to match the Libyan midfielders even going out and also their pressing in the mild of the park.”  Olebile further said Zebras weakest link on the day was on the right back, where Kebue was played noting that for the longest the young GU defender, Kebue played the entire season as a center back hence he struggled a bit as he had to adjust to play on the right back hence it was difficult to contain the Libya’s left winger who was speedy at the night.

“We saw a total different ball game after the introduction of Kgaswane, Kgamanyane and Setsile as we could see there was a combination play when going forward,” he said. Mogoditshane fighter said on the night, Zebras were not fearless as they were not sitting back at the defence as Phoko was alert the whole game with Gaolaolwe and Ditlhokwe were marvelous at the heart of defence.
Meanwhile Mpote and his boys will shift their attention when they host the group favorites being Tunisia tomorrow (Sunday) at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium


Big Guns for Botswana Grand Prix

20th March 2023

The National Stadium will be lit up with fireworks on April 29, 2023, as some of the best international athletes will participate in the maiden Botswana Grand prix.

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AFRICA’S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer

13th March 2023

The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the World’s marathons records.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.

Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.

“Africa is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.”

Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.

“The sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africa’s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.”


By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.

Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.

“Policymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.”

He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. “Fortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.”

However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. “First avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.”

“Policymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.”

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BFA to pay Taylor P330 000

7th March 2023

Botswana Football Association (BFA) has been ordered to pay its former Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Goabaone Taylor over P330 000 as a compensation for her unfair dismissal last year February.

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