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Chikomo tips Orapa United to win Mascom Top 8

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Prolific Orapa United striker Ronald Chikomo thinks his team can scoop the coveted Mascom Top 8 trophy in their first campaign of the popular tournament affectionately known as ‘Tse Di Tona’.

Chikomo is an authority when it comes to winning the Top 8. He has won the Top 8 twice before with his beloved Gaborone United (GU). Chikomo was speaking during an interview over the weekend after his team Orapa United played to a one-all draw with BDF XI in a Top 8 semis final staged at the Itekeng stadium in Orapa.

“By all means it is not easy to reach the Top 8 semi-finals. This is a rare chance that comes once in a while,” said the striker, who helped Gaborone United win the Top 8 cup during the 2012/13 and the 2014/15 seasons.  Chikomo said they will be ready for BDF during the second leg of the games scheduled for the Francistown sports complex next month.

“I think we started the game in a slow pace because it was very hot we are used to playing most of our games at night,” Chikomo said after drawing with Matebele. The robust and free scoring GU legend said he was happy with his move to the Ostriches of Orapa thus far.

“I am happier at Orapa as I am enjoying more game time. It has been three months since I arrived and the team has given me everything I need,” said Chikomo who scored Orapa United’s only goal on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, BDF will have their hands full with not just Chikomo but the Ostriches’ newest signing, Onkabetse Makganthai. The former Nico United star is currently in scintillating form having changed the complexion of the   game when he came in as a substitute for Chikomo in the second half.  

“This is only my fourth game with   Orapa. I have been great playing for the team so far. Remember that   we are on a winning streak having gone 20 games without a loss.”

Makgantai said the fans in Orapa have received him with open arms adding that the team will deliver the cup after they proceed to the   Top 8 final. “The coach said I should deliver in every game and he was happy with the result against BDF.” For his part Ostriches’ headcoach Madinda Ndlovu   said he was   confident that his team will   win in the second leg of the semi finals.

“We played to a one all draw and this is a game that has its pros and cons, my team is more than capable of scoring. I need two goals to win and proceed to the final.” “This is the Mascom Top 8 and it is all about who wants it the most. How my boys to the goal against them and how they responded showed character.

They came back from    behind and fought hard for the draw.”  A content Ndlovu also took time to sing praises for Makgantai, his latest acquisition adding that he was a good player who will be important in helping to win games in the future.

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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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