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Mzambiya thanks Matebele for lifeline

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Former Orlando Pirates and national team creative winger Phenyo Mzambiya Mongala has thanked his coach Beston ‘Quicksilver’ Chambeshi together with BDF XI management for supporting him.

The army outfit, popularly known as Matebele, gave Mongala a lifeline to continue his football career following a short and unsuccessful spell at Don Bosco in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Beginning of this season Matebele gave Mzambiya a 12-month contract to return from the wilderness and play again. Mzambiya, the once celebrated iconic star, formed the nucleus of the deadly Zebras that qualified for the first ever AFCON finals, which were held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Mongala was instrumental in the qualifiers as he scored decisive goals which catapulted the national side to win the AFCON group. Mzambiya rose to international stardom when playing for University of Pretoria” Amatuks’ when they were campaigning in the then Mvela league, the South African first division under the tutelage of Steve Barker now with Amazulu.

Memorably, things started to go well for Mzambiya; it was during the Nedbank finals against Kaizer Chiefs, a few years ago when Mzambiya won the hearts of the football masses as he made a mockery of Kaizer Chiefs captain Jimmy Tau with his dazzling skills and the latter left him unmarked in the pretext that he had a tussle and Mzambiya went on to score.

The Amatuks went on to win the finals after which different clubs began jostling for Mongala’s signature. However, the wheels started to go off for the winger when he signed for Orlando Pirates. He struggled for game time. The little action he was given was never enough as he was left wanting in match fitness.

Later on, Mzambiya was released and he joined local glamour side Mochudi Centre Chiefs where he assisted them in winning the league that year. They went on to represent the country in inter-continental tournament CAF Champions league where they ended in second round of the preliminary qualifiers.

Unfortunately their journey ended against TP Mazembe. Nevertheless Mzambiya together with the duo of Dirang Moloi and Jarome Ramatlhakwane caught the attention of Mazembe sister club Don Bosco.

After being on the sidelines for a while, finally BDF XI extended him an olive branch. In the past the army side has been known for reviving players careers, amongst others were Boitumelo Mafoko, Master Masitara and Ofentse Mmipi.

After the one-all draw against Orapa United at Itekeng Stadium, this past weekend Mongala told Sun Sports that his wish as his contract nears end, is for his bosses to extend it. He also thanked  them for resurrecting his career.

Mzambiya’s experience proved handy on the day as he jelled well with new recruit Patrick Kaunda, Sadiki Takunda and seasonal campaigner Kumbolani Madziba.

Mzambiya told Sun Sports that their objective is to be in the finals of the Mascom Top 8 and was satisfied with their performance as they have scored a crucial away goal which will favour them in the second   round.

Tomorrow [Thursday] Mzambiya’s experience will be tested as the army side faces relegation candidate Gilport Lions in a crucial beMOBILE premiership encounter.   

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makwala iaaf issue ignored

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President of Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) Mooketsi Thari this week revealed that International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe is coming to Botswana for other matters surrounding BAA, not the infamous Isaac Makwala saga that occurred during the 2017 World Championships staged in London.

In fact, BAA has no intention to demand answers or even mention the Makwala issue to the IAAF president. A staunch Thari said the BAA will not even ask for any form of compensation following the Makwala debacle. Thari was addressing members of the press about the on-going preparations ahead of the IAAF president’s arrival in Gaborone this coming Saturday.

Makwala, the world famous local 400m sprinter and the men’s 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist was controversially barred by IAAF from running at the 2018 London World Championships over allegations that he might have contracted the contagious Noro Virus bug.

The nation watched with bleeding hearts as reports flooded across borders that Makwala was ruled out of the world 400m final. Makwala endured further heartache after being pulled out of the 200m heats and later went on a spotlight stealing a solo run in rainy weather.

After all the dust seemed to have settled over the mishap, that is when news surfaced that Coe would come to Botswana in 2018. The announcement compelled many to believe that Coe ‘s visit wouldshed light to Batswana an understanding of what exactly happened in London. However, Thari says for them, that is water under the bridge.

“Many think the IAAF president is coming for the Makwala issue, well, that is not the case, he had long promised that he will visit even before the London controversy,” Thari said. “That issue has been resolved and there is nothing more to it.

We dealt with the matter, even if we were to take it to court that would have happened at a later stage and Makwala would have missed his run,” he said.The BAA president went on to say that they did all they could and actually took pride in that they made history by ensuring that IAAF grants Makwala a special 200m qualification run.

The solo run saw Makwala beat the alleged stomach bug and qualified for the 200m final. Thari explained that instead, they need IAAF’s assistance to help develop athletics in Botswana. As one of the best performing codes in Botswana, Thari said it would come in handy if IAAF helps the local association with funding.

“We will show him a plot that we were long allocated but finding it hard to develop. We also need to reinforce grassroots development,” Thari said.

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GU welcomes Zapata at Rollers

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It would have been an intriguing welcome back to Botswana for Rodolfo Zapata if he were to lead the BTC premiership defending Champions Townships Rollers during their week 10 match against Gaborone United this coming Saturday at the national stadium.

However, Zapata who arrived in Botswana this past Saturday can only watch from the stands, as he is yet to be confirmed as head coach by the Rollers management. Rollers recently confirmed that they are in negotiations with the former Gaborone United coach.The passionate Argentine tactician has already met with the Rollers technical side and the players this week.

As of this past Tuesday, Sun Sports learnt that Zapata is yet to put pen to paper. “We are almost done with our negotiations and still processing his work permits. Only the government processes will determine how long he stays out,” said Rollers spokesperson, Bafana Pheto in an interview.

Pheto revealed that Zapata met the team on Tuesday morning during their training session. However, Zapata, played his cards close to his chest and said he will only comment after he signs a contract with Rollers.“I do not have all the details right now and I hope the Rollers management is working on my permits also,” he said.

Nevertheless, it would still be an emotional game for Zapata when he watches a team he used to coach play against a team he is expected to soon lead.Zapata dumped Gaborone United for a Kenyan side AFC Leopards back in April this year. Zapata had signed a two -year deal with the Kenyan side until about four weeks ago when he decided to leave.

Rollers were quick to show interest on the high profiled coach when their coach, Nikola Kavazovic shockingly decided to abandon the formidable side of Mapalastina early this month.Meanwhile Sun Sports has learnt that there might still be a standoff between GU management and Zapata.

Zapata has told this publication that GU has not paid him his dues yet. Nevertheless, GU is reported to still be nursing an open wound following Zapata’s decision to abandon the then sinking Money Machine.

It is alleged that Zapata has a running contract with GU until 2019 and there were certain procedures he had to follow as per the contract, “We cannot comment anything on the Zapata issue because it may have some legal implications.

We will wait for a time to sit down with Zapata and resolve our pending issues because Zapata has not even contacted us yet,” said GU chairman, Boitumelo Nsunge.

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