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BFA missed out on hosting West Ham

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Botswana Football Association is reported to have missed out on an opportunity to   host English Premier League club West Ham United.

According to sources, the East London based outfit wanted to visit this country for their preseason preparations during the break, after the 2015/16 season. This reporter is in possession of the correspondences between the match agent Ashley Kotzin and the BFA CEO Kagiso Kemoeng, the correspondences outlined cost of bringing the EPL club to Botswana and benefits for hosting such an international brand among other things.

“We acknowledge receipt of your email correspondence, which you would like to propose a tour of West Ham United FC to Botswana in May 2016.  Our Chief Executive Officer is out of office on a business trip today and I hope that he will attend to your request as soon as possible”, reads the mail by BFA CEOs Personal Assistant Connie Bolaane. 

According to a reliable source close to the concerned agent, BFA ultimately turned down the offer to celebrate Bot50 in style with a club from England playing in the country.  “We spoke some two weeks or so ago.  I tried calling you on your mobile, but could not reach you.  Does the offer still stand?  If you are available, please call me on (cell number provided), or at the contact below (office line)”, reads mail from Kemoeng.  

In a recent interview, Kemoeng confirmed that they have exchanged email correspondences in relation to visit by the English club. “ We had been engaged by a certain Tumelo Pule who represented the South African match agent. The proposal was such that we incur the cost of bringing them here, which was in excess of P 7 million”, explained Kemoeng. BFA CEO also stated that they objected after considering all the benefits and costs to host the club.

The English club was to play the national team and a few friendly matches with two local clubs, which were not yet part of the discussion. Information reaching this publication is that Township Rollers chairman Walter Kgabong is alleged to have had interest in taking the offer. Kgabong was then BPL board chairperson and also sat on the BFA national executive committee at the time. However, in an interview, Rollers Secretary General Khumoyame Masonya said they have never received any correspondence concerning the West Ham issue.

Nevertheless, Botswana football governing body, which is alleged to be in a sorry state financially, may have missed out the opportunity to pocket millions of pula from hosting the English team.  According to the source, BFA could have at least   facilitated a plan to engage government and business community to raise the money. Moreover, the source claimed the value of the EPL club was good enough for stakeholders to buy into their proposal. According to the source, the event managers involved   in the matter communicated in detail the interest expressed by their client to visit Botswana back in May, merely three months before the Independence Day.

“The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development had been preaching Bot50 celebrations and activations ahead of the September festivities. Football failed to make a lasting impression on the hearts of Botswana at large during the activations,” the sources said. West ham would have been the second British team to visit Botswana after Bristol city visited Gaborone for preseason ahead of the 2015/16 season.  Bristol played a friendly game against Extension Gunners.

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Heelang, hands off journalists!

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In our last edition, we touched on athletes who need to be media savvy, however it appears the vaccine needs to be administered on sports leaders too.

There is a highly contagious disease spreading rapidly in the sports space with those in power having a wrong perception of owning the media or somehow entitled to publicity. Such people want to literally dictate what should be broadcast or published, fa ba bata go go nyantshetsa o utwa gotwe, write and send back so I crosscheck.

That equals disrespecting and undermining a journalist to the lowest level; it is more like wanting to teach a scribe how to do their work. If you are in a wrong profession at your respected workplace, please kindly send in your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to newsrooms, you might land that Editor- In Chief position. Then there are those who will make scribes feel like they signed a death warrant, why did you not cover my event? You are not reliable; you are only good at chasing certain individuals. Heelang! Stop crucifying journalists, they do not owe anyone anything and realistically speaking cannot cover everything to please all.

Oops and there are those who never want anything bad or controversial associated with their name. They start off as bosom buddies, discussing ‘non offensive’ issues and once in a while a compliment thrown their way. Once the dark days come knocking and gears are changed, suddenly the same journalist ke moloi wa meno a 4 mo ganong. Really now? So, all along the witch was not visible and now that the tables have turned and it hurts like never before, things have become clearer? Perhaps, you forget what the real job of a scribe is? You cannot befriend a journalist my friends, if you do, then something is seriously wrong! Expect the good together with the bitter taste of unwanted publicity.

There is also a time when the scribes are labelled bomma dijo le bo Rradijo. To an extent that you even emphasize that there will be food at your events, so the more the merrier! I agree, generally only a few can say NO to free food but it becomes a bit untidy when you put a food price tag to your events. Ga re gane, there are some colleagues with a huge appetite and they are not even shy about it but isn’t it that there are people like that all over.

Le re tshabisa go ja, please! Another trend, initially good but now disturbing is that of organisations spoiling some rotten journalists by travelling with them to certain places, all expenses fully paid for. This includes food, accommodation and transportation. Things then become cozy when a drink or two is thrown in, nice but at what expense? Is it out of good will or tantamount to bribery?

Some associations tend to confuse it all with rubbing off bad publicity. Kgantele e nna, ao laitaka, o lebala o robetse ko Cresta Hotel ke go reketse biri? A guilty conscience then kicks in and stories are shelved. It is only a few that manage to look beyond the fancy trips and royal treatment and uphold journalism principles. Better you spoil journalists but without undue expectations, accept both the bad and the good coming your way.

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Abidal punches ticket to TS Galaxy

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[PHOTO:www.facebook.com/TownshipRollersFC]

Township Rollers’s defensive Midfielder Gape ‘Abidal’ Mohutsiwa has confirmed that he will be plying his trade at South African based TS Galaxy next season.

This follows rife speculation that Mohutsiwa’s deal with Galaxy might have somehow fallen off. The strong suspicions came about last week when the national first division side communicated the team’s new signings. Local based players of Mosha Gaolaolwe, Thero Setsile and Ezekiel Morake were mentioned in the list and Mohutsiwa’s name was suspiciously omitted. As if that was not enough, the team went on to show off pictures of the trio signing contracts with the team management but still no mention of Mohutsiwa.

Speaking to Sun Sport this week, Mohutsiwa explained that he had seen the communication but made nothing from it. “I am still going because even my work permit is ready, all is well and there is no need to panic,” he said.

The 22-year-old pointed out that TS Galaxy had informed that they will communicate dates to join them in South Africa. He is expecting their call anytime after completing the season this coming weekend.

“I also saw those pictures with the management and its is not like they signed the contracts last week. I suspect that they were just appreciating the performance made by my fellow colleagues Morake and Setsile during the COSAFA championships staged in Durban South Africa,” said Mohutsiwa.

The young Abidal as he is well known is convinced that the TS Galaxy management was just ‘boasting’ about the kind of talent they are bringing to their team. “I did not perform to the best of my ability during COSAFA championships but I cannot say they were neglecting me, I am actually fine with it,” he said.

Mohutsiwa added that as young as he is, he believes that he has a lot to offer and the intention is not to return home in a year or so. He has been signed for three years and the expectation is that he completes his term and perhaps find other lucrative deals out there.

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