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First Division likely to lose Debswana sponsorship



BFA president Tebogo Sebego remains optimistic that Debswana will renew its P2 million sponsorship for the First Division North and South league.

The three – year deal expires at the end of this season. Sources close to both camps say that by end of last season Debswana had already indicated to BFA that it was unlikely to renew the sponsorship citing certain contractual infringements.

The agreement was that BFA must give Debswana mileage through proper packaging which included stadia branding and live broadcasts of first division matches as well as negotiating with national television broadcaster to feature a weekly first division magazine show.

These would have promoted the giant mining company by showing how diamonds benefit locals. Sadly, the sponsor feels this has not happened. Games continued to be played without branding the sponsor in first division grounds with the sponsor only getting mileage as title sponsors whenever there were media reports on their fixtures and results.

In a kneejerk reaction calculated to assuage the sponsor, BFA is said to have rushed to the premier league office seeking space for parameter advertising in live broadcasts of beMOBILE fixtures to include Debswana and other BPL strategic partners like Huawei and Grand Palm.

Although BFA president has attributed the rift with the sponsor to lack of experience by some of the handlers, there are reports that Debswana is not happy with how the whole deal went through.

Debswana sponsorship has resurrected and brought life to first division. The level of competiveness and excitement has greatly improved as has the level of officiating. Referees were paid P580 per fixture while teams were given a once off P50 000 grant to supplement their budget. Not only did this ease their financial burden but it helped the teams to scout and sign quality players from lower  tier leagues and in some cases even the premier league.

Sources within Lekidi told BG Sport that in its desperation, the BFA now wants to move the national first division under the ambit of the BPL office so that it can be given the necessary attention that the premier league is giving the beMOBILE sponsorship.

Contacted for comment on developments around the sponsorship, BFA president Sebego said: “Debswana sponsorship negotiations have already started. My CEO is handling the matter and I am confident that Debswana will continue with their sponsorship.” But some first division officials who didn’t want to be named expressed frustration at the way BFA is handling the matter.

One said that should Debswana pull out it would lend a death blow to first division as they’ll no longer be able to pay referees, sign quality players or buy their teams proper training equipment, bottled water and energy drinks. Another official said that if renewed the BFA should allow the first division national committee to manage the sponsorship.

He said that first division has capable and qualified people from different professional backgrounds who can manage and give sponsors value for their money. For the first time in its history, first division teams that got promoted to the premier league were very competitive and have not been relegating unlike in the past when they would relegate the same season.

Sankoyo Bush Bucks, Miscellaneous and Orapa United –which have all graduated from First Division – bear testimony to the role played by Debswana in the lower division league.

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Selibe Phikwe bowls club faces closure



Selibe-Phikwe Bowls Club faces a possible collapse, Sun Sports has learnt. This follows the closure of the BCL mine back in 2016, which has seen the club struggle without the supply of electricity and water.

Speaking to this publication this week, the chairperson of Phikwe club Oabona Motladiile said that things have been stagnant since the mine closed doors. “Nothing is happening here, there is no action at all because when the mine closed, it meant there was no one to pay for the water and electricity bills,” Motladiile said.

Motlaadile explained that their grounds are situated at Area 2, a place that the mine paid all bills for, however it has since proved very hard for them to maintain the green that needs constant watering. He said they do not have any alternative facilities to use and have since informed the Phikwe council about their difficulties but still solutions have not been found.

The Phikwe Chairman at the time of going to press said he was not sure of the exact figures they needed on a monthly basis but around 20 000 litres of water and electricity not exceeding P 1 000. He lamented that the Phikwe club is one of the oldest clubs locally and at one point had about 30 members. However, numbers have been dropping because there is no action.

“We are a very competitive club of men and women who make it into the national team,” he said. John Gaborutwe who is the BBA Vice President said that the possible closure of Phikwe Bowls Club was one of the topical issues to be discussed during the BBA Annual General Meeting (AGM) this coming weekend. The affiliates will be expected to vote for a new Vice President, Treasurer and Director of Bowls as the term for the current office bearers expires.

The AGM will be followed by the start of the Rose Bowl tournament. The tournament is the 1st of the 5-series major tournaments for the 2019 season. The remaining tournaments will be held in Francistown, Orapa, Jwaneng and Phikwe respectively. Jwaneng club is the defending champions.

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Allegations coming out of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) are that national football team head coach Major David Bright has been fired as of Tuesday this week. The illustrious veteran tactician took over from Englishman Peter James Butler more than a year ago.

At the helm of the Zebras, Bright struggled to bring home positive results and find winning combinations. Having failed to lead Zebras past the qualifying stages of the 2019 Afcon competition was the first sign of trouble for the veteran coach at Lekidi. Furthermore the experienced tactician was expected to improve Botswana’s position in the FIFA world rankings. The Zebras are currently in the lowly 145th position.

According to sources close to the matter, Bright was handed a termination letter and challenged to show cause why he should not be relieved of his duties at Lekidi. As one of the most decorated coaches in both Botswana and CAF region, Bright has coached numerous teams including South Africa’s Bay United, Gaborone United and Morupule Wonders.

Reached for comment on the matter the BFA president Maclean Letshwiti insisted that the former army man is still in charge of the senior national team. For his part Bright said he could not comment on the matter and referred Sun Sport to the BFA.

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