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
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
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.”
BFA will not declare the season null and void – yet
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.