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KBL injects P1million on COPA tourney

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Kgalagadi Breweries Limited (KBL) this week announced sponsorship to the tune of P1, 150 000 towards the popular Copa Coca Cola tournament which targets the under 15 and under 17 boys and girls from 207 local schools. The tournament is on its third year running in Botswana.

The competition, which is a partnership between KBL and Botswana Integrated School Association (BISA), is a national event that reaches young talent in the   far-flung areas of the country. Speaking at the tournament launch in Gaborone this week, the Coke brand marketing activations manager Tamar Mbalo said this year marked the 3rd year of the competition, which started in Zimbabwe back in 1989. Mbalo said the tournament has since become an asset in promoting grass root soccer in the country. She added that the Copa tournament, which is played in 61 countries across the world, was now in Botswana.

“We are proud to partner with BISA. We   hope and believe COPA will nurture talent in Botswana,” she said. Speaking during the same event Coke Operations and Marketing manager Moitshepi Sefako said they will participate in an international camp held   in France this year. This is a global initiative, we sat down deliberated and decided to send two boys to represent us at the international camp later this month. Sefako said the two players are Kabo Seshabo and Ryan Brown who recently did well and were voted among   the best players at a recent development tournament in South Africa.

For his part, the BISA president Joshua Gaothobogwe applauded KBL   for listening to their plea to include under 17 boys and girls in the competition. Gaothobogwe said there were challenges in the first year of the tournament but things gradually improved the following year. “More than 20 000 boys and girls take part, KBL   has a vision. The last two years saw the boys team going to play in South Africa where they shared life skills,” he said, adding that a number of players from   the tournament have already   entered the junior teams within the Botswana Football Association (BFA).

The BFA technical director Benny Kgomela said their development targeted   children between 5 and 19 years of age. “At primary school they play for fun, they are not restricted compared to Secondary where they play for competition.” Moreover, Kgomela said they could not reach the far ends of the country without the partnership between KBL and BISA. “Talent searching is not easy and we rely on teachers in various schools.”

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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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