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CASH STRAPPED: Marape and Manisa

Money stands between Diamond Girls and Africa Women’s Football tourney trip

Should everything go according to plan, Tonota Diamond Girls will test their skills against some of Africa’s best ladies football clubs in Mehlareng and Makhulong Stadias in Tembisa-South Africa.

The Tonota outfit has been invited to take part in the inaugural Africa Women’s Football Cup on 24-26 September.

The tournament will feature 12 teams, among them Lusaka Dynamos (Zambia), Mamelodi Sundowns (SA), Okahandja (Nigeria), Lesotho LDF, Malawi DD Sunshine, Zambia ZISD Queens, Lesotho Kick4Life, Eswatini Young Buffalos, SAJVW, Tanzani Yanga and Simba FC(Tanzania).

Clubs have been advised to confirm participation before the 15th of August which will assist with drawing up of fixtures and marketing.

According to Diamond Girls’ Manager Andrew Marape, the tournament would be the best time to revive women football and build sisterhood relations while celebrating African talent.

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Formed in 2012, Diamond Girls affiliated to Francistown Regional Football Association (FRAFA) and has been competing in the Women’s League since 2013.

The team finished fourth in the previous league and had progressed to the semi finals of a tournament organised by By Botswana Football Association when Covid-19 struck and sport had to be cancelled.

“I believe we’ll be the first ladies football team from Botswana to compete in a regional tournament, where all the scouts will be in attendance,” said club Manager Andrew Marape.

Marape who founded Diamond Girls said they need a total of P50 500 to make the trip.

Breaking down the money, he told Voice Sport that they need P2000 as affiliation fee, P20 000 for transport, P8000 for meals and P12 500 for medicals.

“The organisers of the tournament, Women Tertiary Games, are providing accommodation and lunch,” revealed Marape.

“I appeal to businesses to hear our plea and come to our rescue,” he further pleaded.

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Assistant Manager Mpho Manisa also highlighted the importance of the tournament in an interview with Voice Sport.

“It is an important tournament for us as Diamond Girls to keep the dreams of our girls alive,” she said.

She said the tournament will give their girls a platform to sell themselves and finally live their dream of playing elite football.

“We’ve got youngsters in our team who deserve to play outside Botswana, and this is their biggest chance,” she said.

Manisa said they have two players who’ll soon leave for South Africa to play in a professional set-up.

“This is what our team is all about. We recently sent Sindy Tsumake to Lusaka Dynamos where she has impressed, and we hope to export more players to more competitive leagues across the world,” said Manisa.

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