The president of IAAF Sebastian Coe is expected in Botswana next year to give a formal apology over the unfair treatment of local 400m sprinter Isaac Makwala at the2017 World championships held in London recently. Team Botswana Head of Delegation Moses Raphutshe confirmed in an interview with Sun Sports yesterday (Tuesday). Raphutshe was speaking during the Team Botswana welcome ceremony at Avani Hotel in Gaborone.
Raphutshe said the IAAF management has admitted to treat Makwala unfairly when they denied him to race his 200m heats and 400m final over the assumptions that he might have contracted the contagious Norovirus. According to Raphutshe, Coe reached out to Botswana to try and explain what really transpired during the 2017 World championships in London. Raphutshe said Botswana was quick to demand an apology from the IAAF, as they strongly believe that the organisation did not handle the matter in professional manner.
After the well-publicized controversy, the IAAF president is reported to have met with both Makwala and the entire Botswana team. “He spoke to athletes and even took selfies with them, he gave them a few words of encouragement but did not spend much time with us because he had other commitments as the championships were coming to an end,” Raphutshe said. Quizzed on Botswana’s current relationship with the IAAF, Raphutshe said they are still in good books with the Athletics governing body.
“They did what they felt was right and nothing has changed between the two parties,” he said. Regarding the 400m final issue, he said are still to find out what will happen as IAAF has extended an olive branch. The two parties have joined hands and we will find ways of reaching a solution on the matter. Meanwhile the man of the moment ‘Badman’, as Makwala is popularly known, did not return home with the rest of the team.
Makwala is scheduled to race his 200m-diamond league race on the 22nd and 400m on the 24th August in Zurich, Switzerland. Makwala is expected back in the country on the 29th August. For his part, Coach Mogomotsi Otsetswe said the athletes performed well despite the Makwala saga. “The situation was weighing heavily on all of us, they were not themselves at all,” Otsetswe said. He also expressed concern over the re-occurring injuries haunting his athletes but assured that Baboloki Thebe and Karabo Sibanda’ s injuries are not that grave. The duo is expected to be back in action in a month’s time.
New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals
Officials at Mochudi village’s biggest soccer clubs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mochudi Rovers are excited at the news that their district will soon have a state of the art football stadium after property and construction magnate Nicholas Zackhem announced the erection of the facility for Gaborone United.
Zackhem, owner and director of Zac Construction, revealed recently to this publication that a football stadium would be built in Bokaa village at a cost of P70 million, with the hope that all phases will be completed by 2025.
Edwin Mothulatshipi, Chairman of Centre Chiefs, as well as Mochudi Rovers’ Chairman Sugar Molefhe both spoke to The Midweek Sun on what the construction of the stadium means for their respective clubs. Both admit they would jump at the opportunity to use the facility for their official matches, and based on what Gaborone United financier Zackhem has shared with The Midweek Sun, it will not be difficult for all the other clubs based around the area to use the facility. TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S EDITION (11 August 2021) OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
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.”