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Clubs threaten to boycott league games

The Botswana Premier League is currently facing a significant controversy. The league’s autocratic decision to gradually downsize the number of teams from 16 to 12 beginning at the end of the 2023/2024 season has sparked outrage among the clubs. In response, Premier League clubs have threatened to boycott games, starting from October 28th. Clubs are also preparing a dossier pregnant with the reasons behind the clubs’ opposition to the downsizing decision, their concerns regarding the legality of the decision, and the potential consequences of their proposed boycott.

The issue has been a hot potato for quite a long of lately since the announcement was made by the league chief executive officer Senzo Mbatha early this year. However, WeekendSport has been reliably informed that some premier league teams are threatening to boycott league games after week 4 which will be played on the 28th and 29th October.

Premier League clubs have vehemently opposed the downsizing decision, arguing that it was made unilaterally without proper consultation. The clubs contend that the decision to reduce the number of teams in the league will have far-reaching consequences, affecting not only the clubs themselves but also the fans, players, and the overall competitiveness of the league. The downsizing decision, if implemented, would result in a significant reduction in the number of matches played, potentially leading to a decline in revenue and fan engagement.

One of the primary concerns raised by Premier League clubs is the legality of the downsizing decision. They argue that the Botswana Football League (BFL) Competition rules have been changed, while the Botswana Football Association (BFA) rules remain the same. This discrepancy raises questions about the legitimacy of the decision and whether it was made in accordance with the established regulations. They state that the move has a potential to cause chaos at the end of the season as BFA competition rules acknowledge that only two clubs relegate at the end of the season. Premier league clubs further contend that the article 7 of the new BFL competition rules was not adopted by shareholders.

The clubs fear that if the downsizing decision is allowed to proceed, it may set a dangerous precedent, undermining the authority of the BFA structures and potentially leading to further arbitrary decisions in the future.

In addition, this publication has also learnt that clubs unanimously rejected this move at a BFL special general meeting which was held on the 21st September, when the issue of relegation and promotion in article 7 of the competition rules was discussed.

Boycott Threat and Potential Consequences

Premier League clubs have taken a strong stance against the downsizing decision by threatening to boycott games starting from October 28th. This boycott is intended to send a clear message to the league authorities that the decision must be reversed. However, such a boycott would have significant consequences for the league, including financial losses, reputational damage, and a potential decline in fan support. The clubs are aware of these consequences but believe that their collective action is necessary to protect the integrity and fairness of the league.

First Division opposition

In addition to Premier League clubs, teams from the First Division have also expressed their opposition to the downsizing decision. These teams, who aspire to compete in the Premier League, argue that reducing the number of teams will limit their opportunities for promotion and hinder their growth. The downsizing decision, they argue, goes against the principles of fair competition and equal opportunity, which are fundamental to the spirit of football.

“Premier League and national First Division clubs are putting BFA in a tight corner as they want the governing body to act on this unilateral and unpopular decision as they feels it has the potential to cause chaos at the end of the season,” sources highlight.

On their part, First division teams plan to petition the BFA about the article 7 of the BFL competition rules.

A leaked letter from First Division South league addressed to clubs written by Secretary general reads: “Teams to make a petition/resolution and have all teams apenning their signatures wherein showing displeasure in the new BFL competitions rules-Article 7 speaking to promotion and relegations of teams at National First Division.”

The letter further indicates that Green Lover FC and Pilikwe United FC from North with Mochudi center Chiefs and Jwaneng Young Stars to lead the exercise which is expected to be done by Tuesday 24th October 2023, before close of business at 1700hrs.

Football administrators unhappy

Meanwhile, Tebogo Sebego, a seasoned football adminstrator who is also BFL Independent director challenged the recent decision by Botswana Premier League. In a letter addressed to BFA Legal advisor which was circulating on social media, Sebego said he has “constantly” communicated his concerns to both the BFL Chairman and the CEO, but “unfortunately, they have chosen to either disregard or ignore the advice.”

“There is a patent misinterpretation of our football statutes and a flagrant disregard of our constitutional processes outlined by the BFA and BFL constitutions. Furthermore, the inclusion of ‘Clause 7’ in BFL Competition Rules is ‘unlawful,’ ‘void ab initio,’ and has not followed due process outlined by both BFA and BFL constitutions,” he emphasized.

He further pointed out that; “Clause 8 addresses the promotion and relegation of clubs and states in ‘Clause 8.1’ that ‘a total number of three bottom clubs or a number to be determined by members in the Premier League by special resolution shall automatically relegate to their respective zone,’ (BFL Constitution dated 21/10/21).”

Sebego said, ‘Clause 8.4’ states that such change may be implemented if duly adopted at a General Meeting by a special resolution (75% majority).





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Ditlhokwe must avoid smugness at Amakhosi

5th December 2023

Kaizer Chiefs, one of South Africa’s biggest football clubs, has been facing a coaching crisis. In the midst of this turmoil, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, a local hard-tackling defender, has quickly become an integral member of the squad. However, despite his impressive performances, Ditlhokwe must avoid complacency and continue to work hard to secure his place in the star-studded team. TSHEPO KEHIMILE explores the potential impact of Chiefs’ frequent changes in coaching staff on Ditlhokwe and emphasize the need for him to maintain his high level of performance.

Ditlhokwe’s Rise to Prominence:

Ditlhokwe’s journey in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) began when he joined Supersport United on a three-year deal from Township Rollers. His talent and dedication quickly caught the attention of the technical team, and he became a trusted member of the squad. In January 2023, he signed a five-year contract with Kaizer Chiefs, one of the biggest clubs in South African football. His performances during pre-season matches against Young African and Township Rollers showcased his potential and promised a bright future at Amakhosi.

The Acid Test:

As the season progressed, Ditlhokwe faced several challenges. His first test came against Chippa United, where he and his defensive partner, Given Msimango, managed to keep a clean sheet in a goalless draw. However, miscommunication between the defense and goalkeeper Riyaard Pieterse led to a 2-1 defeat against Mamelodi Sundowns. Despite this setback, Ditlhokwe and Msimango redeemed themselves in subsequent matches, guiding Chiefs to a 3-0 victory against TS Galaxy and a 2-0 win against Stellenbosch.

The Impact of Coaching Changes:

Chiefs’ frequent changes in coaching staff can potentially affect Ditlhokwe’s performance and place in the team. The departure of Coach Molefi Ntseki, who had shown faith in Ditlhokwe, raised questions about whether the new coach would retain him as a regular starter. The arrival of Cavin Johnson as the interim coach saw Ditlhokwe maintain his place in the starting lineup, but the team continued to struggle defensively, conceding goals in matches against Golden Arrows and Cape Town City.

The Need for Consistency:

Ditlhokwe’s consistent presence in the starting lineup is commendable, but he must not become complacent. As competition for accolades and starting positions intensifies, he needs to work even harder to improve the team’s defensive record. Chiefs’ recent signing of his former Supersport United teammate adds further competition for the starting berth, making it crucial for Ditlhokwe to maintain his high level of performance.


Thatayaone Ditlhokwe’s journey at Kaizer Chiefs has been impressive, with his consistent performances earning him a regular place in the starting lineup. However, he must avoid complacency and continue to work hard to improve the team’s defensive record. The frequent changes in coaching staff at Chiefs add an element of uncertainty, making it essential for Ditlhokwe to prove himself to each new coach. By remaining focused and dedicated, Ditlhokwe can solidify his position in the team and contribute to the success of Amakhosi.








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BOBA battles turbulences to prime Boxing

5th December 2023

The Botswana Boxing Association (BOBA) recently organized a successful Boxing National Championships, sponsored by Maun Quarries and Tau Grading, with a generous amount of P100,000. This financial support is a welcome development for the boxing fraternity, as it has been almost a decade since such a windfall was received. The championships showcased the incredible skills of boxers like Mmusi Tswiigi, who achieved a remarkable victory by Referee Stop Contest (RSC). However, despite this success, BOBA acknowledges the need to improve and participate in international competitions to increase the chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

National Championships Success:

The Boxing National Championships witnessed outstanding performances from various boxers. Mmusi Tswiigi’s victory by RSC highlighted his exceptional skills and determination. Other notable performers included Rajab Mahommed, Maxwell Sechi, Thabang Chakalisa, Kerapetse Segole, Joel Kgogobi, Botshelo Thomologo, Otsile Mogobye, Mompoloki Sebula, Kenaope Boifang, Solomon Motshwarakgole, Keamogetse Kenosi, and Tshephang Moilwa. These boxers demonstrated their talent and dedication, bringing pride to the nation.

The Road to the Olympics:

Despite the success at the National Championships, BOBA Secretary General, Taolo Tlouetsile, acknowledges that more needs to be done to secure a spot at the Paris Olympics. Tlouetsile emphasizes the importance of international exposure for local boxers to gauge their readiness for such competitions. He recognizes that the opponents in international competitions are more active and challenging, making it crucial for local boxers to participate in various international events.

Challenges Faced:

The local pugilists faced difficulties during the Paris 2024 Boxing Africa Qualifiers held in Senegal. Most of the boxers were eliminated in the preliminary rounds, with only Keamogetse Kenosi making it to the quarterfinals. The lack of preparation due to financial constraints hindered their performance. The absence of training camps and exposure to international competitions affected their readiness and ability to compete at the highest level.

Upcoming Qualifiers:

To secure a place at the Paris Olympics, local boxers must now focus on the upcoming qualification tournaments. The 1st World Qualification Tournament is scheduled to take place in Busto Arsizio, Italy, from 29 February to 12 March 2024, followed by the 2nd World Qualification Tournament in Bangkok, Thailand, from 23 May to 3 June 2024. These tournaments provide another opportunity for local boxers to showcase their skills and qualify for the Olympics.

The Way Forward:

BOBA National Team Coach, Thebe Setlalekgosi, acknowledges the talent of the boxers but highlights the financial constraints that have hindered their progress. Setlalekgosi emphasizes the need for proper training camps to prepare the team adequately. He expresses his disappointment at missing the International Boxing Association (IBA) Junior World Championships, which could have served as valuable preparation for future boxers. Setlalekgosi proposes a training camp from the first week of December until February to ensure the team is in top shape for the upcoming qualifiers.

The recent success of the Boxing National Championships sponsored by Maun Quarries and Tau Grading is a positive step for BOBA. However, the association recognizes the need for international exposure and participation to improve the chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics. Financial constraints have been a significant challenge, affecting the preparation and performance of local boxers. With upcoming qualification tournaments, it is crucial for BOBA to prioritize training camps and international competitions to give their boxers the best chance at success. By addressing these challenges, BOBA can pave the way for a brighter future in boxing and bring glory to Botswana on the Olympic stage.



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Mares 90 minutes WAFCON qualification

5th December 2023

Crunch time has arrived for the Mares, the women’s senior national team of Botswana, as they face a crucial encounter against Kenya, also known as the Harambee Starlets.

This match will determine their qualification for the WAFCON 2024 tournament, and the fate of the Mares hangs in the balance. Under the guidance of their new coach, Alex Malete, the team carries a slight advantage with an away goal from the first leg.

Adding to their confidence, the Mares received a major boost with the inclusion of newly appointed Zebras head coach, Didier Gomes Da Rosa, in their technical team. Da Rosa’s appointment as the Director of Football for all national teams, including the women’s team, shows the commitment of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) to support the growth and development of women’s football in the country.

The history between these two teams is not extensive, with only two previous encounters. The last match took place in 2015 during the 2016 Olympic qualifiers. The Mares won the first leg 2-1 but lost the second leg 1-0, resulting in the Harambee Starlets advancing to the next round based on aggregate score.

Both teams have their sights set on making their second appearance in the WAFCON tournament. The Harambee Starlets made their debut in the 2016 edition held in Cameroon, and now they aim to secure their next appearance. Similarly, the Mares are eager to make their mark and showcase their progress since their last participation.

In the first leg of this crucial tie, the Mares faced early attacks from the home side but found their rhythm midway through the first half. Keitumetse Dithebe, an attacker from Gaborone United, broke the deadlock with a goal in the 37th minute. However, the Harambee Starlets quickly responded with a penalty kick just before halftime, leveling the score. The second half saw sustained attacks from the Kenyan side, but the Mares held firm at the back, ensuring the match ended in a stalemate.

The Mares can rely on the experience and skill of players like Refilwe Tholakele and Sedilame Bosija, who recently won the CAF Women’s Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns. Tholakele, awarded the Golden Boot, played a pivotal role in her team’s historic triumph, scoring two goals in the final. Her success highlights the significance of her contribution to the Mares’ campaign.

As the Mares head into this crucial clash, they must draw on their collective strength and determination. The opportunity to qualify for WAFCON 2024 is within their grasp, and they must seize it. With the support of their coach, the inclusion of Da Rosa in the technical team, and the talent of their players, the Mares have the potential to rewrite their own history and make a lasting impact on women’s football in Botswana.


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