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Rollers extinguish Magosi’s firepower

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Mochudi  Centre  Chiefs   seem to  be   in  trouble  especially  in  the  attack  department  following  the  departure   of  influential  striker Keaketswe ‘Mara’ Moloi.

The  Mascom Top 8 first  leg  semi  finals held in Francistown over the weekend exposed  Magosi’s depleted arsenal with the team now heavily  reliant  on the  likes  of  Lemponye FC  Tshireletso,  Tendai Nyumasi  and  the  experienced  Onalethata  Tshekiso.

However,  the  lack  of  depth   in attack  at  Magosi  has  exposed  them  to  top  teir  rivals  Township Rollers. During the semi-final encounter, the evergreen Tshireletso came short of finding the back of the net while the groggy and misfiring Tshekiso continued with his poor form this season.

Nevertheless, Magosi who seem to be shy when it comes to spending on experienced players, are able to handle lesser competition easily. Against Rollers at the Francistown Sports Complex Magosi were moving at a pedestrian’s pace and   eventually became onlookers to the brilliance of Popa popa who are overloaded with talent.

Magosi’s frustration after the   Saturday game was telling as the players and the technical team were seething on their way back to the dressing rooms.
“I cannot talk to you now. Maybe later on, I am not happy,” said Magosi Captain Pontsho Moloi.

Even worse Magosi  will  have  to  come  back  from a  difficult 3-1 loss due to  damaging  away  goals. During the second leg, Maaparankwe  will have to score early and make sure they do not concede  any goals which is highly unlikely against a difficult  opponent like Rollers.

On the contrary, the glamorous MmaMasire Blues went on a spending spree this season. Some of the players acquired by  the team include Ofentse Nato,  former  beMOBILE  premier league  top  goal  scorer  Terence  Mandaza, Galabgwe  Moyana  and  Joel  Mogorosi. With  an  impressive  3-1  score line, Rollers  headcoach  Mark Harrison  knows  that  he  has  one  foot  in  the Top 8    final  where  he   will face  either  Orapa  United  or  BDF XI.

The   full  might  of Rollers  will  be  shown  in  the  second leg  scheduled  for  Francistown  next  month. The  venue  that  has  become  popular  with  football  nationwide  will  be  expecting  to  see Rollers  finishing  off   their  rival  on  their  way  to  the  finals.

For Harrison the  second leg semi   will  not be  a daunting affair  unless Magosi  pull  an epic  upset. Most  of Harrison’s  roster consisting of the likes of Nato, Mandaza, Jerome Ramatlhakwane, Galabgwe  Moyana, Sekhana  Koko, Kobamelo Kebaikanye and  Maano Ditshupo – has players good  enough  to  make  it  into  the  starting line  up.

Meanwhile, Chiefs  have  lodged  a protest  with  the   Player  status  committee  challeging  the  legality  of  Ofentse  Nato’s  presence  during  the Top  8 semi  finals.

According, to Magosi’s  spokesperson Clifford  Mogomotsi , Nato  who  joined  Rollers  in  the second  round  of  the  2015/16 beMOBILE  premier  league  season  was not  properly  register  according to  the  play  rules  and  regulations

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Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19

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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.”

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BFA will not declare the season null and void – yet

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Amidst wide spreading fears that Botswana’s top flight league might be canceled and considered null and void because of the crippling Covid-19 pandemic, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has yet to make a determination on the matter and has in fact ruled out scrapping off the season altogether.

Local football observers and pundits alike have already started talking of the possibilities after similar considerations of nullifying their seasons were made in the leagues of other countries especially in Europe.  No football activity has taken place in the country since social distancing measures were imposed to avoid the spread of the corona virus.

Local football pundit Fabian Zulu is one of those who believe there is a likelihood the football season will be nullified. “If the current situation persists, then there is a high possibility of declaring the league null and void. This situation wasn’t planned, no one knew that by now we would be facing this kind of situation; so the possibility is very high.

However, in an interview this week, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said the association has not considered canceling and nullifying the season as an option yet, adding that “currently we are observing a period of extreme social distancing, the ministry  of health and wellness will obviously give advice on the possibility of getting back to football.”

Consequently the BFA still awaits the Ministry to declare that the risks of spreading the virus are reduced and come up with a contingency plan. “If the ministry says there is a reduced health risk we will play out the season; if they advise against it we will then see what steps to take. The health of our players is more important and we will be guided by the responsive authorities,” Mpatane remarked.

However, suspension or cancellation of the leagues across the world seems inevitable even as some European leagues, more specifically the English Premier League, are now contemplating a behind-closed-doors campaign to finish off the remaining matches.

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