Gaborone football supporters will have to wait a little bit longer before they can feast on the much anticipated 2017/18 BTC Premiership season. As things stand no premiership game will be played in the city for at least the next four weeks. The league is scheduled to roll into action this coming Saturday. However information reaching Sun Sport is that no game will be played in Gaborone until the 21st of October when Mochudi Centre Chiefs take on Black forest. The national stadium was extensively damaged after the infamous GIMC music festival hosted a few weeks ago.
There were reports of broken windows, chairs and pieces of small broken bottles on the pitch. In an interview this week, BPL Acting CEO Thabo Ntshinogang confirmed that one of the reasons games were taken out of the city was to ensure that the stadium is in perfect condition before playing. Asked about the readiness and safety of the stadium in the next five weeks, he said they have inspected the area and the situation looks promising however if any unforeseen circumstances arise, they will be forced to seek other alternatives. Ntshinogang also said that it should be noted that the national stadium is not only meant for hosting sports activities but many other public events, “The independence celebrations are fast approaching, that can also be another reason why the stadium will not be available to us for the first four weeks,” he said.
For his part, Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) CEO Falcon Sedimo said in an interview that preparations for the independence festivities are ongoing and after September 30, the stadium will be undergoing rehabilitation.He however failed to update on the current state of the national stadium saying it was better to tour the stadium rather than speaking with no visual evidence. Meanwhile the official opening of the games will be held at Francistown sports complex on Saturday afternoon where recently promoted Tafic will be testing waters against the defending champions Township Rollers.
Flamingo Santos will be walking into the lion’s den against league giants Orapa United at Itekeng Stadium while Sharps will be taking on the Lobatse based Gunners in Molepolole. Security systems will be up against BDF XI in Lobatse, Sankoyo battle it off with Jwaneng Galaxy at Maun Sports Complex whereas Gilport Lions will play against Police XI at Otse Police College. On Sunday Magosi will lock horns with Gaborone United in Molepolole while Black Forest take on Miscellaneous in Otse. All games will be played at 1500 hrs.
New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals
Officials at Mochudi village’s biggest soccer clubs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mochudi Rovers are excited at the news that their district will soon have a state of the art football stadium after property and construction magnate Nicholas Zackhem announced the erection of the facility for Gaborone United.
Zackhem, owner and director of Zac Construction, revealed recently to this publication that a football stadium would be built in Bokaa village at a cost of P70 million, with the hope that all phases will be completed by 2025.
Edwin Mothulatshipi, Chairman of Centre Chiefs, as well as Mochudi Rovers’ Chairman Sugar Molefhe both spoke to The Midweek Sun on what the construction of the stadium means for their respective clubs. Both admit they would jump at the opportunity to use the facility for their official matches, and based on what Gaborone United financier Zackhem has shared with The Midweek Sun, it will not be difficult for all the other clubs based around the area to use the facility. TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S EDITION (11 August 2021) OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.
Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.
“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.
Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.
“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.
Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.
“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”