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BFL clubs get P100 000 grants

Finally, after failed petition threats and peace talks – Botswana Football League (BFL) teams received their first monthly grants of P100 000 last week Friday – this publication can reveal. In January, some disgruntled BFL shareholders threatened to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zakhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah over grants.

The shareholders were unhappy with how the board is running the league affairs. They were crying foul that the current board has not been calling regular shareholders’ meetings where they could be updated on issues; especially progress made on searching for sponsors. The league is now going for the second season without title sponsor.

“The other issue of concern for the shareholders is the monthly grants which the board took a deliberate decision to halt when the current 2022/2023 season started. The concerned clubs were intending to write one petition letter and hand it to BFL and BFA leadership for possible intervention,” informant told this publication in January.

According to highly placed sources, the 16 premier league teams received their share of P100 000 grants last week Friday. The money came from the Department of Broadcasting Services (DBS) broadcasting deal. In October last year, the BFL league treasurer Jagdish Shah announced that they have signed a three year contract with DBS to become the official broadcast partner of which in the first year, BFL shall receive P7 million while in the second and third year of the agreement- the state broadcaster will pay P 8 million.

“They are set to receive another P100 000 grant from the BFL coffers in April which will translates to P3.2 million shared,” shared the source.

Previously Gunners chairman Bruno Masisi told this publication that it not easy to run a club like Extension Gunners without a financial sponsor. “Imagine you are running a club with an expenditure of over P154 000 monthly against a cash inflow of less than P25 000 and at maximum being P25 000,” he explained.

Gunners chairman further attributed the recent bad performance to lack of motivation within the club as players and technical members are not being paid their dues. “Basically we are in a bad situation,” he said. The elephant in the room is the lack of finances – hence everything else attributes from this problem.

The P100 000 surely will come as a morale booster for the so called struggling teams as they will be fighting to survive the relegation.

However, despite the grants being credited into team’s accounts, WeekendSport can exclusively reveal that cash-strapped side Mogoditshane Fighters are still cashless. Allegations are that the current chairman of the club has transferred the money from the team’s account to his company’s account.

When reached for a comment, Mogoditshane Fighter chairman Reginald Mautlane refuted the allegation of transferring the money from the team’s account to his company’s account. “The team is registered under a company. This comes after the committee unanimously agreed to change from the society to the company as way of attracting potential sponsors,” shared Mautlane in short interview. “We have opened an account with Absa bank and the signatory are the same people from the society’s account.”

Meanwhile, BFL and Absa bank renewed their marriage vows for the remainder of the season with the commercial bank releasing a P1.7 million cheque which the bank says will cover the financial costs of what remains of the current season. The renewed terms by the two entities comes after the P6.7 million deal between BFL and Absa elapsed in 2021.

According to Absa Managing Director Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane, the P1.7million will be used to support the league in a variety of ways which includes supporting the running of the game and fulfilment of the remaining fixtures. She further said the latest sponsorship package will enable the league to continue to develop and grow, while adhering to the highest standards of corporate governance.

Pheko-Moshagane quoted Johan Cruyff, Dutch football legend who once said, “Football is a game of mistakes. Whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins.” She further said they believe that the Botswana Football League is well-positioned to make the fewest mistakes and achieve success.

One of the ways through which mistakes can be minimised is through the adoption and strict adherence to corporate governance, she advised. “It is through a sound corporate governance structure that confidence in the sport of football can be maintained leading to the attraction of more corporate sponsors for the beautiful game,” she cautioned BFL offices.

Nevertheless, Board chairman Zakhem who was tickled pink at the occasion, pleaded with the local banking giant, Absa to become the league title sponsor. “We are looking for title sponsors and Absa really suits this space, Absa premier league or Absa football league sounds like a perfect match as we want Absa to come on board although it will be expensive but you know it’s worth it,” he shared.

Zakhem said the new BFL CEO will approach the bank for the proposal and they are anticipating a positive feedback. In response, Pheko-Moshagane said the door remains open for engagements, further assuring the BFL the support to develop and expand football in the country. It remains to be seen if sponsoring the league fully is too rich for Absa blood or not.

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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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