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Magosi turn to old guard



The influential triumvirate of coach Innocent Morapedi, goalkeeper Noah Maposa and striker Jarome Ramatlhakwane have reportedly gone full circle and reunited with their former club Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

Morapedi, who is formerly the Chiefs assistant coach helped to steer Magosi to some of their most historic premier league triumphs. He was part of the prolific technical team headed by former Magosi headcoach Madinda Ndlovu, a partnership that made Chiefs one of the most feared teams in the domestic league. Back then the mighty Magosi won back-to-back beMOBILE premiership championships.

Following Ndlovu’s departure to Township Rollers, Chiefs hired a new technical team led by little known Dragojlo Stanojlovic from Serbia. This move did not favour the tactical Morapedi who had to make way for China Matlhaku to work as Dragojlo second in command. Morapedi later had a stint at the now relegated Notwane before going under the football radar.

However, it did not come as a surprise to many football supporters when Morapedi resurfaced in Kgatleng. Meanwhile, Ramatlhakwane, the former Under 23 and National team top goal poacher who at some point led the top goal scorer standings during the AFCON 2012 qualifiers, has also been linked to his former team. Ramatlhakwane stamped his authority in regional football when he again clinched the top goal scorer at the regional tournament COSAFA Castle Cup held in Zambia in 2013.

However Ramatlhakwane still has a five-year running contract with Democratic Republic of Congo outfit, Don Bosco. The once feared striker joins Chiefs from championship rivals Township Rollers on loan. Initially, Ramatlhakwane chose Rollers over his former club after it was believed that Rollers dangled an irresistible financial carrot before his nose. Nevertheless, his latest move is believed will breathe life into Chiefs striking force which heavily relied on Onalethata Tshekiso and Lemponye Tshireletso, who have since moved on.

Meanwhile the nomadic safe hands Noah Maposa who has enjoyed playing for almost all the popular clubs in the league including Township Rollers and Gaborone United is expected to take over from goal minder Raphael Nthwane who has joined the likes of Pontsho Moloi and Onalethata Tshekiso at the retirement village.

Maposa, an experienced shot stopper has seen limited game time in Popa colours, as he had to face stiff competition from the Zebras’ first choice goal minder Kabelo Dambe.Worst still, Maposa could have faced even fiercer competition from Mwampule Masule who was on loan at BDF XI. Masule showed improvement at BDF, triggering his dramatic comeback to the national team colours. Masule lately was instrumental in Zebras’ historic feat in the regional COSAFA tournament where they reached the finals for the first time after coming in for injured Dambe.

In an interview this week, Chiefs spokesperson Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed to Sun Sports that indeed they will be signing the duo Maposa and Ramatlhakwane but didn’t disclose the length of their contracts, adding that Morapedi will be an interim headcoach while they search for a suitable candidate. Chiefs were left without a coach after the departure of Michael Sithole who has since joined Jwaneng Galaxy FC.

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makwala iaaf issue ignored



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



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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