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A derby of top goal-scorers

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Two of the most prolific and exciting goal-scorers in local football will finally meet when Gaborone United (GU) faces Township Rollers in a 2015/16 beMOBILE  premiership fixture at the National stadium this weekend.

Football supporters will be guaranteed a treat when Moatlhodi Ralesotla (25) of GU goes face to face with fellow Green boot candidate Segolame Boy (24) of Township Rollers. Currently it is Boy who has an advantage over his rival with 14 goals to his name while Ralesotla has 13 goals.

Going into the Gaborone derby this weekend both players will be strong candidates to help their teams in their quests to secure maximum points. Moreover both   players eerily share a similar background. 

Both currently don the No.11 jersey at their respective   teams. The similarities go further as both lads are    natives of Serowe in the central district. Moreover, both players have previously suffered different injuries that saw them out of action for the most part of the season.

However, being out of action only increased fire in the belly of both players and it will be the supporters who win in the end. For the right-footed attacking midfielder Boy it will be the sort of game he has been waiting for after   recovering from injury. He will be expected to attack with the same ferocity in which he helped to dismantle Selibe Phikwe minnows FC Satmos by scoring a shocking four goals against them over the weekend.

The ambitious Boy is the type of player who is made for the big stage. The former Miscelleneous player has both flair and accuracy for goals. In most cases he makes a consistent and reliable playmaker. In addition Boy is also a crowd puller and big draw card at stadia. Harbouring an ambition to play in big money foreign leagues, Boy will be aware that scouts could be watching the derby.

In his absence Rollers have stumbled and fallen in games they should not have lost against the likes of BR Highlanders and Police XI. Meanwhile, Ralesotla is Boy’s polar opposite, the soft-spoken Serowe native is more of a reserved and withdrawn striker. However, these aresome of the qualities that make him even more dangerous. Ralesotla does not possess Boy’s flair and showmanship but he has an eye for goals and he can change the complexion of a game with no effort.

After leaving Green Lovers, during the first round many a detractor wrote him off claiming he would not find the back of the net. However, Ralesotla proved his critics wrong after scoring against his former team last weekend. The player is unapologetic about   campaigning for the Green boot.

Ralesotla also made it clear that he wants to impress national selector as well as play in the next Mascom Top 8 tournament as well as CAF competitions.

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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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