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BoBA short changes athletes



Reports coming out of the Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) camp this week are that the once thriving sport code is currently experiencing financial doldrums. The state of BoBA financing came under scrutiny after the cancellation of the association’s flagship national championships, which was scheduled for Jwaneng mining town this month. Allegations reaching Sun Sports are that BoBA spent close to P 450 000 on 49 kg boxer Mohammed Otukile’s participation at the AIBA World Boxing Championships held in Germany recently. According to sources this misguided trip to Germany is alleged to have contributed to the bleeding of the associations’ already depleted coffers. According to sources close to the matter, the association failed to draw an accurate budget and ended up spent thousands of Pula’s in assisting Otukile to compete in Germany. However, decisions made leading up to the world championships have came back to haunt the association after Otukile did not make it past preliminary stages of the event.

This past week saw BoBA shocking the local boxing community after an abrupt cancellation the 2017 national championships just two days before the event. “We regret to announce the cancellation of the planned 2017 championships scheduled to be held in Jwaneng. The championship has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control,” reads an official statement from the troubled association.

The national championship and the Best of the best tournaments are the biggest events in the BoBA calendar. Cancellation of the event greatly disappointed both boxers and coaches as they worked hard all year in anticipation of the showpiece. A week before the scheduled event, some boxers who preferred to speak under the condition of anonymity were already suspecting something odd would happen. “Silence from our leadership was just too much, nothing was being said to us and we had doubt that this event will go on,” they said.

This week some of the boxers within BoBA told Sun Sports that they received reports suggesting that the association was financially constrained. Nevertheless, BoBA is said to have held negotiations with a potential sponsors from the diamond-mining town, which gave boxers a ray of hope. It is only through the championships that BoBA gets to select national team athletes. However, due to the current situation, it remains unclear how BoBA will resolve the situation.

On the other hand, some boxers were arguing that it would not be fair for the management to select athletes based on their interclub tournaments. In addition, sources within BoBA argued that the whole situation is most likely to ruin a relationship between BoBA and Debswana Mining Company. Debswana has been sponsoring the amateur combat sport awards for the past few years. The awards are normally held shortly after the national championships and served as motivation to athletes who excelled throughout the year. Apart from international bouts, it is only through national championship that boxers can receive monetary prizes from BoBA in some occasions.“Some of our athletes are unemployed, and are only in boxing for the love of it.

As we speak athletes have not been given an explanation as to why the tournament was cancelled, it is disheartening, “said one local boxing coach who preferred anonymity. For his part BoBA president Thato Patlakwe said allegations suggesting that Otukile played a part in BoBA’s current financial status are not true. “The bulk of the finance was from Otukile ‘s Olympic and Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) funds, we did assist but only to a small degree,” Patlakwe said. Patlakwe confirmed that the association does not have money saying they spent a significant amount of money sending both athletes and coaches abroad.

The BoBA president revealed that they used a significant amount of money in developing athletes, coaches and referees. Among others they sent nine boxers to All Africa Boxing Championships held in Congo Brazzaville a few months back. Moreover he said, “We sent 10 coaches and referees to Namibia and another 10 to South Africa, our mandate is to have enough qualified personnel of world class standard, we felt it was necessary to invest in them and they did us proud.” The soft-spoken president said there is no need panic just yet as there is a possibility that they can still host the national championships before the end of the year. He said they had almost sealed the deal with the people of Jwaneng however they could not agree on the last details of their agreements. “We did not want to ruin our partnership, there is a possibility of bringing a very glamorous national championship next year because we are busy engaging different stake holders for financial assistance.

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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko



ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff



BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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