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President Dr Ian Khama has cautioned Team Botswana against doping tendencies ahead of the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Amidst international uproar and controversy over doping in the international sporting arena, Khama urged Olympics bound athletes to resist the temptation to use performance enhancing drugs, as this will tarnish the good name of the country. The President was addressing the Team Botswana sending off ceremony at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) on Monday. 

“You are going to Rio at a time when globally the world is riddled by reports of doping. Athletes who are sometimes assisted by coaches and other support personnel to enhance performance perpetrate this doping. That is cheating and we as Batswana abhor this and it cannot be tolerated. I appeal to all of you to play clean sport and preserve the good name of our country.” In addition, Khama advised athletes that government will not tolerate enhanced performance by local sports men and women. The President made it clear that athletes and officials who will intricate themselves in doping will be suspended accordingly. He said that athletes would not be suspended in a collective form.

“Our position as Government and indeed, Botswana sport is very clear and again, I wish to reiterate, we will not tolerate doping. We agree to the suspension of only those athletes, officials and anyone in authority who have been involved in doping not to ban all the country’s athletes, in the form of collective punishment.” Moreover Khama said cheating in sports is unfair, unjust, unethical and undemocratic as it violates the very principle of participation by world sportsmen and women.

“As you head to Rio, remember that the Olympic movement is premised on the values of excellence, friendship and respect. I will like to add that our very own values of Botho, which defines us as a people and sets us apart from other nations, is also key for you as our Ambassadors in this regard. I therefore call upon each one of you to live up to these values, give your best on the field of play, compete fairly and make friends while you are there.”

Khama also expressed his utmost confidence in local athletes and implored them to strive and compete to the best of their abilities as the hopes of 2million people lie with them. “The national flag affirms the country’s representation at Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The flag carries with it dreams and aspirations of Batswana, and we hope you will hoist it high in Brazil. We all have confidence in your ability to compete and be the very best you can be, we will support you all the way.”

“We will be watching you on television and when you step into the field, know that your parents, relatives and all Batswana are behind you.” Meanwhile Team Botswana is represented by strong athletes such as Isaac Makwala, Nijel Amos, Lydia Jele, Christine Botlogetswe, Baboloki Thebe, Karabo Sibanda, Boitumelo Masilo, Onkabetse Nkobolo, Naomi Ruele, Kevin Bogopa and David van der Colff.

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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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