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Mascom Top 8 in limbo

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Kgatleng  giants  Mochudi  Centre  Chiefs  have this week  lodged a protest  against bitter  rivals, Township Rollers  over  Ofentse Nato, who they say was used as a defaulter  during their  Mascom Top  8 semi-final game last  week.

The case is expected to be heard before the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee DC) tomorrow (Thursday). Following a 3-1  drubbing  at  the  hands  of Rollers  in  the lucrative 2015/16 Mascom Top  8 first  leg  semi-final  at  the Francistown  Sports Complex, Magosi moved quickly  to lodge a complaint with the BPL accusing  their  rivals  of using a defaulter.

Nato  was  recently   signed  by  Rollers  from India’s Atletico de Kolkata during  the  last  transfer  window. In an  interview  this  week, Magosi  spokesperson  Clifford  Mogomotsi  confirmed that  they  have  made  an  official  appeal  with  the BPL over  Nato’s  status.

“The rules (BFA Play rules and regulations) are very clear,” Mogomosti said. According to  regulation 6.4, any team  that  fields a defaulter  during a knockout competition or play  off, shall  be  deemed  to  have  lost  the  game in question.

The regulations  go  on  to  state  that a protest  or  information  about  the  use  of  the  defaulter  should be brought to the attention  of  the Disciplinary Committee within 30  days  of  the said  game. The  regulation  further  states that  the  team  that fields a defaulter  shall  be liable  to  fines  between P1000 and  P2000.

Contacted for comment this week, the BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennet Mamelodi confirmed the appeal. “Chiefs  are  saying  that  I did  not register Nato properly but  that  is all  I  can  say  because  the  case  is  before  the BPL Disciplinary  Committee (DC).”

For  his  part, Mascom Top 8 Local Organising Committee (LOC)  chairperson  Bickie   Mbege  said  they  have  not  received  any  protest  from Chiefs, adding  that  there was tension  from  their (Chiefs) part  after  the Friday game.

This  week, the Rollers  spokesperson  Phempherethe  Pheto  said they were aware  of the  protest but  they  have  not received  any  official  correspondence  regarding  the  matter.

Meanwhile  another  beMOBILE premiership  team  Gilport Lions  has  also  lodged  a protest  against Nato  who  played against  them  in a recent league  encounter.

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney

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CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again

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Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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