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Can Piro stop Teenage?

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Focus shifts to Orange FA Cup

The newly crowned Mascom Top 8 Champions, Orapa United will shift their focus to another challenge this Friday when they host Gaborone United in the Orange FA Cup last 16 round match.

The last time the two teams met in a league game Moyagoleele defeated the host Orapa United 2-0. Mara Moloi and Obonwe Maome scored to give the visitors maximum points.

The Reds travel to Itekeng Stadium to try and dislodge the Ostriches from their fortress. GU have been doing well off late. The Old Naledi outfit has registered five consecutive wins under the tutelage of caretaker Coach Pontsho “Piro” Moloi.

In their last league game, GU bagged the city’s bragging rights in a 2-1 derby win at the expense of Township Rollers.

United who were not active this weekend played two friendly matches against division one side Master Blackpool and Notwane FC which they won 4-1 and 5-1 respectively.

Speaking to Voice Sport this Wednesday, The Ostriches Coach Teenage Mpote said as the Orange FA Cup Defending Champions, their Top 8 triumph is in the past and their focus has now shifted to the task at hand.

“Our intention is to defend this cup with all we have,” said Mpote.

“We know anything can happen in a cup game but we intend to use our home ground advantage. We won’t be travelling, which gives us more time to train the whole week after a hectic cup final over the weekend, Mpote told Voice Sport.

The tactician said he’s anticipating a highly tactical game against an unpredictable GU side who are on a good run.

“It’s a pressure game, and obviously all eyes will be on us as the defending champions, so we need to play with caution to avoid unnecessary mistakes,”said Mpote.

GU Coach Moloi, who watched his Friday opponents dispose off Rollers last Saturday in Francistown said he’s prepared to face a team he referred to as ‘tough opponents’.

Piro said he’ll consult his notes after studying Orapa for over 120 minutes against Rollers.

“I had the opportunity to identify their strengths and weaknesses which helped us in our preparations,” said Moloi, adding that it’ll be tough and equally exciting to face the Defending Champions.

“The weekend break has given injured players time to recover, and we now have a full strength squad to select from,” revealed Moloi.

The former Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Zebras’ tricky winger further told Voice Sport that while they respect their opponents they see the Orange FA Cup as one of this season’s realistic chances of winning silverware after missing out on the Top 8.

“We’ll go all out for a win and go through to the quarter finals. We are however not under any pressure. All we can do on the night is give our best,”he said.

Kick-of is 1900hrs.

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Daggers drawn for BFA top post

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Daggers drawn for BFA top post

Uncertainty over the looming Botswana Football Association (BFA) elective congress was finally cleared this week when the Electoral Committee announced 8th of August as a date for the d-day.

The BFA elections were left in limbo since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent suspension of all football matters.

Briefing the media this week, board chairperson Moemedi Leina said since the elections will be held in the middle of a State of Emergency the elections board will be guided by the Covid 19 Task Force.

He said citizens aged between 30 and 75 years and without any criminal record can begin submitting their names for possible election starting on the 1st to the 12th of June.

Battle for the BFA’s top post promises to be a bare knuckled contest, with four prominent figures already looking set to throw their names into the hat.

Incumbent, Maclean Letshwiti will face stiff competition from former BFA president Tebogo Sebego, politician Boyce Sebetela and former BFA Chief Executive Officer Ookeditse Malesu.

The four potential candidates are already canvasing for votes across regions, and attempting to sway delegates to their sides.

While few have publicly stated their intention to stand for elections, Francistown Regional Football Association Chairperson Maokaneng Bontshetse has long declared his candidature for the Vice President 2 position.

Bontshetse, a shrewd sports administrator is one of the longest serving football servants in the country.

He prides himself as the founder of the Zebras Supporters Club.

Letina has however advised potential candidates that there are certain requirements they must meet in order to be eligible.

He said candidates should be active in football structures and not be insolvent.

“We’re also not going to allow people from other sports codes. The committee will vet from June 22-29 and publish candidates’ names on June 30,” he said.

Letina further said they will then allow for appeals or queries for the next two weeks before publishing the final list on 23rd July.

“During the appeals period, we’ll simultaneously compile and prepare a voters roll. This year there will be no elections in the regions after the General Assembly resolved that regional committees will run for four years, which means their terms ends in 2022,” said Letina.

Meanwhile the association Chief Executive Officer Mfolo Mfolo said their medical team is working round the clock to prepare for the return of football action.

Last week Ministry of Sports approved the resumption of football activities operations for the premier league and first division games from the 1st of June.

Mfolo said the medical team is to submit the final guidelines to the BFA National Executive Committee so that teams can start competitive football.

He said there are certain Covid-19 regulations they need to adhere to.

The league is left with 13 games to complete the season.

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Montsho left in limbo

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Montsho left in limbo

Aging star’s dream end fading

Having carried the baton for Botswana athletics for over 16 years, the country’s greatest ever female runner, Amantle Montsho targeted a fairytale ending to her career at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

And then Covid-19 came along and ruined it all.

Rescheduled to August 2021 in light of the deadly pandemic, the Games could prove a year too far for the aging 400m star.

Montsho would be 38 by then and although her heart is willing and her body healthy, 15 months is a long way away.

It is a cruel blow for the Maun born athlete, who had worked incredibly hard to get back into the shape required for Olympic qualification – a feat she managed at a University of Botswana Athletics Club meet back in March.

“My target was an Olympic medal. I had trained very hard to win a medal. This was supposed to be my last competition. I believe I have done my part in sports and it is time to quit!” said Montsho, whose 2011 triumph in Daegu, South Korea, remains Botswana’s only Gold medal at the World Championships – a title she narrowly missed out on retaining two years later in Moscow, piped to the finish line by Great Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu by less than a hundredth of a second!

Indeed, for the two-time Commonwealth Champion an Olympic medal remains the only thing missing from her resume. Agonisingly, 0.03 seconds was all that stood between Montsho and a Bronze medal at the London 2012 Games.

Suspended for the last Olympics, Tokyo was to be Montsho’s fourth games – a record for a Motswana athlete – and a last shot at Olympic glory.

Speaking to Voice Sport on Tuesday, she ruefully admits that might not be possible.

“I still have to talk to my coach and see if I will compete next year since I have qualified. It has not been easy during lockdown; at least now we have hope since the Minister of Sports has announced resumption of individual sports,” said the frustrated sportswoman, who is famous for keeping her emotions to herself.

With her future once again cast in doubt – she had set her heart on retiring last year only for the Botswana Athletics Association to convince her to continue – it would be a sad, unfitting end to a career that has brought much pride to the country’s sport loving citizens.

However, as her opponents have discovered many times in the past, you write Botswana’s diamond off at your peril!

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