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Gunners divided




It seems Extension Gunners’ struggles extend from the football pitch to the boardroom.

The Lobatse giants were slapped with a six-point deduction at the start of the season for non-compliance with club licencing requirements – a punishment for repeatedly failing to pay players last season.

Although a 1-0 victory over Morupule Wanderers at the weekend meant the deficit was finally wiped out – Mapantsola currently sit second from bottom of the Botswana Premier League (BPL) with 0 points after six games – there are dark times on the horizon for the club.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) has written to the BPL Disciplinary Committee lodging a formal complaint against Gunners for ignoring a National Executive Committee (NEC) directive to remove their Chairman, Tariq Babitseng.

The association insists Babitseng is ineligible to hold any position within BFA structures after failing to account for almost P73, 000 during his previous employment with the footballing body.

“In 2015, Babitseng, who by then was the BFA Vice President – Administration, was appointed head of delegation for AFCON qualifier game between Zebras and Guinea Bissau. Following the said game, the BNSC picked some financial irregularities pertaining to the use of the contingency funds,” reads part of the correspondence, which goes on to explain that the NEC then appointed a team to investigate the alleged misuse of funds.

The investigation found that Babitseng had indeed ‘mismanaged’ the money and he was subsequently dismissed.

To add to the cloud of confusion hovering over Gunners, two different Executive Committees are claiming control of the club.

Supporters called a Special General Assembly recently, where they passed a motion of no confidence in Babitseng and his committee.

A new committee was elected but Babitseng’s group refused to budge, maintaining the gathering was illegal.

According to Gunners PRO, Willoughby Kemoen, the new committee did not follow the proper rocedure to convene a legitimate meeting.

He explained that for the meeting to be deemed ‘legal’, 14 days notice and the sharing of agenda items has to take place – something Kemoen says did not happen.

He blasted the development for creating further instability at Gunners, adding the club has written a letter to BFA to intervene.

“There is no order at all. Just recently the BPL Disciplinary Committee called Gunners management for hearing in a case of failing to pay our former coach Tumi Duicker his salary. The new committee showed up and they were turned down because they (BPL) do not know them.

“We were to launch sponsors this week but we postponed because we want to clear the mist. I am ready to step down for the sake of peace but it should be done procedurally. Removing us in this manner will not bring the solution but is risking the club being docked more points because of this chaos. I foresee trouble and failure to honour some games,” predicted Kemoen, his gloomy forecast the latest bit of bad new in what is fast turning into the season from hell for Mapantsola’s passionate fans.

The PRO further told Voice Sport that some of the new committee members had in fact resigned from the committee in the past and were part of the reason for the club’s debt.

He explained the intention was to hold a special meeting after Wednesday’s general elections, to discuss a number of key matters, chief amongst them the issue over the chairman.

He defiantly concluded that the decision to remove Babitseng, as per BFA’s instruction, is to be taken by club members, as they are the ones who elected him into power.

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Zebras go with the Floh



Youth and experience lead the line

The exuberance of youth and the craft of experience will be tasked with spearheading the Zebras attack as the long road to Cameroon begins in Zimbabwe today (Friday 15 November).

Security Systems veteran forward, Kenanao ‘Floh’ Kgetholetsile, 36, and Extension Gunners speedy striker, 22-year-old Misani Thupa make for an unlikely partnership.

However, the pair will be hoping they can fire the goals that get Botswana’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign off to a winning start.

First up is a Zimbabwe side oozing with both talent and confidence. The Warriors squad boasts the likes of Belgian-based winger Knowledge Musona and Kaiser Chiefs midfield star, Khama Billiat.

The trip to Harare is followed by Monday’s home fixture against reigning AFCON champions Algeria. Led by Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, the North Africans will be confident of victory.


Speaking to Voice Sport recently, Kgetholetsile revealed that even though time was not on his side, he never gave up on his dream of playing for Botswana.

“My love for football began from a very tender age with a sole dream of representing my country at national competitions at some point. However, it happened at a later stage because of unforeseen circumstances which were beyond my control and they made me to be the strong player I have become at the moment,” declared the dreadlocked goal machine.

On the other hand, Thupa’s call up has come early in his rapidly rising career.

“I grew up with parents who were always in my neck to get an education. Finally, I was able to complete my studies and started playing football regularly until I came to Gunners,” he said, describing his selection for the national team as the proudest moment of his fledgling career.

Goals proved hard to come by in the Zebras last effort at qualifying for AFCON. In a disastrous six-game campaign which yielded just one point, Keegile’s Kone’s fourth minute strike in a 2-1 loss to Mauritania was the only time Botswana found the back of the net.

Between them, Floh and Thupa will look to provide fresh impetus to the Zebras stale attack.

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Joel in the crown




For many years we have been drawn in tricky qualifying groups but we always try our best to come up with the necessary results.

Taking you back to the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) held in Gabon, for the qualifiers we were in the group of death, which included Tunisia and Togo, but we managed to qualify anyway.

That is the spirit the boys need coming into these crucial encounters, first against Zimbabwe and then Algeria, who are the defending AFCON champions and include Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez in their ranks.


Honestly, Coach Adel Amarouche has selected a good team. He has picked in-form players who are all doing well for the respective clubs.

Amarouche has a clear strategy and knows exactly how he wants the guys to play.


Also, I have no hard feelings for not being called up to the team because others deserve the same chance that I once got.

We just need to support those who have been given the nod to represent the country.


Congratulations to Chillyboy! Truly speaking, he deserves this appointment and I believe he will excel.

We have always wanted a youthful figure who will address our problems as local athletes in efforts to grow our sports.

However, footballers need to understand Chillyboy is not only there for football but all sporting codes.

Anyway, I say this again, the man was not chosen by mistake but by merit!


Liverpool FC were excellent at the weekend, hammering the defending champions Manchester City 3-1 in a truly remarkable game at Anfield.

The Reds are now eight points clear at the top and their players are showing the hunger required to win the Premier League for the first time in the club’s glittering history.

Regardless of the opponents they face, Liverpool always go for the win.

Jurgen Klopp has got them playing wonderful football and I must admit it’s a pleasure to watch – although as an Arsenal fan that’s difficult to say!


Jwaneng Galaxy are a very good, consistent team.

Their squad have been together for a long time, they complement each other well and deliver high class performances week in week out.

It certainly showed in our 3-1 loss to them last Wednesday when we were sadly second best.

Nevertheless, we took the loss to our drawing board and I am confident we will come back stronger.

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Cooper says sorry



Apologetic Mini Cooper zooms back into Zebras fold

After making headlines for his drink-fuelled indiscipline whilst on national team duty, Mothusi Cooper has offered a heartfelt apology to the nation.

Although he was not included in the Zebras initial 25-man squad for the upcoming AFCON 2021 qualifiers with Zimbabwe and Algeria, Cooper’s remorse has earned him a recall to the side.

Widely regarded as one of Botswana’s most talented footballers, the 22-year-old central midfielder was one of four players suspended from the Zebras by Head Coach, Adel Amrouche.

Cooper, along with Orapa United players, Mothusi Johnson and Onkabetse Makgantai and Thero Setsile (TS Galaxy) were booted out in disgrace after being caught drinking alcohol while in camp.

The quartet’s boozy antics reportedly took place in-between the Zebras ill-fated two-legged FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier against Malawi, which they lost 1-0.

Whilst Cooper’s drinking mates remain condemned to the sidelines, the Township Rollers playmaker has been handed a shot at redemption.

Having originally been omitted by Amrouche when the Belgian announced his squad on Monday, Cooper was handed a surprise recall just 24 hours later.

This was followed by a 39-second video of Cooper on social media in which he apologised to the nation for his indiscipline.

The dreadlocked midfielder, who goes by the nickname Mini Cooper, advised professional players to stop drinking alcohol ‘before it’s too late’.

He further apologised to his family for his misbehaviour and was quick to thank Amrouche, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and the fans for giving him a second chance with the national team.

Not wishing to dwell on the matter, Amrouche described Copper as a good player bursting with potential.

“I’m glad he’s apologised,” added the coach, whose side left for Zimbabwe on Tuesday, where they meet the Warriors in Harare on Friday.

The Zebras then return home, where they face the daunting task of hosting recently crowned AFCON champions Algeria at the National Stadium on Monday.

In a brief interview with Voice Sport, Amrouche stressed that whilst Botswana players are talented, they need to work on their discipline and ‘respect the camp’.

Although he bemoaned the lack of preparation time the squad have had together, Amrouche noted match fitness was not a concern.

“I believe my players are ready to represent the nation well. There are new players in the team – they will be guided by the more experienced guys who have played in international games before. We do not have stars and are in the process of building a strong team with a good mentality,” added Amrouche.

The no-nonsense tactician further revealed that Jwaneng Galaxy’s midfield maestro Lebogang Ditsele was called for camp but did not show up.

“If he does not respect his country he should stay at home. I will work with those who are willing to play!” blasted the Belgian.

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