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Something fishy at BISA

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Information reaching Sun Sports this week is that Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) President Joshua Gaotlhobogwe is back in the BISA elections race. This comes after he was left in limbo last week when the BISA Electoral Board vetted him out. The BISA electoral Annual General Meeting (AGM) is scheduled for November 10th 2017 in Palapye. However the lead up to the BISA AGM has been embroiled in controversy.

The sports development association has also seen its leadership become even more divided than ever. Last week, the BISA Electoral board is reported to have released a list of the 2017 BISA elections nominees. However in a shocking turn out of events incumbent president Gaotlhobogwe was vetted out. Sun Sports is in possession of the leaked documents dated 26th October, showing that incumbent president together with the aspiring Secretary General Christopher Chikwakwa were tossed aside because they have served two terms consecutively in the executive.

“This contravenes section 12.2.3 of the BISA constitution if another term is sought,” reads a statement from the BISA Electoral Committee. After learning the board’s decision, Gaotlhobogwe is alleged to have lodged an appeal and even went as far as seeking legal advice on the matter. Nevertheless, the board still maintained its stand and turned him down. However early this week, another letter was received by BISA Secretary General Gomolemo Rankosha stating that after careful consideration, the board decided to go back on its decision and allow Gaotlhobogwe to run. Reached for comment this week, Gaotlhobogwe expressed shock over the board’s decision.

Gaotlhobogwe confirmed that indeed he received news that he was not eligible to seek another term. “Something is not right here, I am told I have been reinstated but under what grounds I cannot explain,” Gaotlhobogwe said in an interview. His biggest concern is that his plea was thrown out of the window when he tried to appeal the decision. According to him he had supporting evidence of two legal experts, yet the board had remained unshaken at the time. “All of a sudden I have been vetted in again, I had approached the Ministry of Education informing them about the matter because I was prepared to drag this to the court of law. It appears there is a conspiracy, something does not add up, there is more to this matter,” he argued.

He accused the Board of failing to use the services of their legal advisors who are said to be at their disposal and rushed to misinterpreting the constitution. Nevertheless, Gaotlhobogwe said he couldn’t confirm if his actions led to the board reversing its decision or not. However he is unhappy with how things unfolded, arguing that this is likely to mess up his campaign.On the other hand, aspiring BISA Secretary General Chikwakwa remained calm and said that he believed the board made a genuine mistake and after seeking legal advice they decided to reverse their decision.

“I do not think there was any foul play or any intentions of sabotage, we demanded a proper apology and I hope they will consider it,” Chikwakwa said. Reached for comment, BISA Electoral Board chairperson Hebert Kabelo denied ever releasing the list saying the allegations are untrue and for all he knows, there have never been any issues or queries. “I cannot comment on the issue because it was an in house issue.”He said on behalf of the board, they believe that they have done everything right and nobody has been left out. “We want absolute fairness during the elections and everyone is expected to either win or lose during voting on the day.”

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makwala iaaf issue ignored

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President of Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Mooketsi Thari this week revealed that International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe is coming to Botswana for other matters surrounding BAA, not the infamous Isaac Makwala saga that occurred during the 2017 World Championships staged in London.

In fact, BAA has no intention to demand answers or even mention the Makwala issue to the IAAF president. A staunch Thari said the BAA will not even ask for any form of compensation following the Makwala debacle. Thari was addressing members of the press about the on-going preparations ahead of the IAAF president’s arrival in Gaborone this coming Saturday.

Makwala, the world famous local 400m sprinter and the men’s 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist was controversially barred by IAAF from running at the 2018 London World Championships over allegations that he might have contracted the contagious Noro Virus bug.

The nation watched with bleeding hearts as reports flooded across borders that Makwala was ruled out of the world 400m final. Makwala endured further heartache after being pulled out of the 200m heats and later went on a spotlight stealing a solo run in rainy weather.

After all the dust seemed to have settled over the mishap, that is when news surfaced that Coe would come to Botswana in 2018. The announcement compelled many to believe that Coe ‘s visit wouldshed light to Batswana an understanding of what exactly happened in London. However, Thari says for them, that is water under the bridge.

“Many think the IAAF president is coming for the Makwala issue, well, that is not the case, he had long promised that he will visit even before the London controversy,” Thari said. “That issue has been resolved and there is nothing more to it.

We dealt with the matter, even if we were to take it to court that would have happened at a later stage and Makwala would have missed his run,” he said.The BAA president went on to say that they did all they could and actually took pride in that they made history by ensuring that IAAF grants Makwala a special 200m qualification run.

The solo run saw Makwala beat the alleged stomach bug and qualified for the 200m final. Thari explained that instead, they need IAAF’s assistance to help develop athletics in Botswana. As one of the best performing codes in Botswana, Thari said it would come in handy if IAAF helps the local association with funding.

“We will show him a plot that we were long allocated but finding it hard to develop. We also need to reinforce grassroots development,” Thari said.

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GU welcomes Zapata at Rollers

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It would have been an intriguing welcome back to Botswana for Rodolfo Zapata if he were to lead the BTC premiership defending Champions Townships Rollers during their week 10 match against Gaborone United this coming Saturday at the national stadium.

However, Zapata who arrived in Botswana this past Saturday can only watch from the stands, as he is yet to be confirmed as head coach by the Rollers management. Rollers recently confirmed that they are in negotiations with the former Gaborone United coach.The passionate Argentine tactician has already met with the Rollers technical side and the players this week.

As of this past Tuesday, Sun Sports learnt that Zapata is yet to put pen to paper. “We are almost done with our negotiations and still processing his work permits. Only the government processes will determine how long he stays out,” said Rollers spokesperson, Bafana Pheto in an interview.

Pheto revealed that Zapata met the team on Tuesday morning during their training session. However, Zapata, played his cards close to his chest and said he will only comment after he signs a contract with Rollers.“I do not have all the details right now and I hope the Rollers management is working on my permits also,” he said.

Nevertheless, it would still be an emotional game for Zapata when he watches a team he used to coach play against a team he is expected to soon lead.Zapata dumped Gaborone United for a Kenyan side AFC Leopards back in April this year. Zapata had signed a two -year deal with the Kenyan side until about four weeks ago when he decided to leave.

Rollers were quick to show interest on the high profiled coach when their coach, Nikola Kavazovic shockingly decided to abandon the formidable side of Mapalastina early this month.Meanwhile Sun Sports has learnt that there might still be a standoff between GU management and Zapata.

Zapata has told this publication that GU has not paid him his dues yet. Nevertheless, GU is reported to still be nursing an open wound following Zapata’s decision to abandon the then sinking Money Machine.

It is alleged that Zapata has a running contract with GU until 2019 and there were certain procedures he had to follow as per the contract, “We cannot comment anything on the Zapata issue because it may have some legal implications.

We will wait for a time to sit down with Zapata and resolve our pending issues because Zapata has not even contacted us yet,” said GU chairman, Boitumelo Nsunge.

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