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Gunners shoot down ten-man BDF XI



Lobatse giant’s out of relegation zone as revival continues

For the first time this season, Extension Gunners are out of the relegation zone after a hard-fought 1-0 win over a well-drilled BDF XI at Molepolole on Saturday.

With little to choose between the two sides, a second yellow card for the Army Boys combative midfielder, Godiraone Modingwane early in the second half proved the game’s defining moment.

Gunners, who up until the sending off had been on the back foot for much of the encounter, made the most of their numerical advantage, taking control of the midfield and ultimately the match.

In the end the fixture’s solitary goal came from Mosimanegape Ntwaetsile, his well-taken strike enough to secure Gunners’ second win in their last three outings.

The victory was especially pleasing for an injury-hit Mapantsola, who were missing senior players such as Lesego Galenmotlhale and Dirang Moloi.

Forced to field a young side, Gunners’ talented fledglings showed enough heart and desire for the fight to suggest they will avoid being sucked into a relegation battle come the end of the season.

It is the first real moment of light in a season cloaked in darkness.

Non-compliance with club licencing requirements meant the Lobatse outfit incurred a -6 point penalty before a ball had been kicked in anger.

Eight games into the season and the deficit has finally been wiped out, with Gunners currently on four points and occupying 12th place in the log.

They are unbeaten in their last three matches, a run that includes a 0-0 draw away at title chasing Jwaneng Galaxy.

Speaking to Voice Sport after his side gunned down BDF, Mapantsola’s centre-back, Mmoloki Kebalepile said the win could prove a turning point in their season.

“I am excited for the victory. These points that we have just collected are very crucial because we have been playing under a deficit.

“Nevertheless, if we start attaining these vital points going forward, hopefully we can finish the season in a better position,” said the 25-year-old, who had an excellent game in the heart of the Gunners defence.

Another to put in an eye-catching performance was Gunners speedy 22-year-old striker, Misani Thupa, who ran himself into the ground for the cause, keeping BDF’s backline busy for the entire 90 minutes.

Substituted in stoppage time to a standing ovation from his team’s hardy supporters, Thupa told Voice Sport he was living his dream.

“I have always had the ambition to play in the elite league but it was not an easy route because I spent a lot of time at third division league. I had to balance football with school work as my parents were very strict and wanted me to get an education. Finally, I was able to finish school and started playing what I love the most, football,” exclaimed the energetic front-man, who looks to have a bright future in the game.

Meanwhile both sides return to Premier League action this Thursday, with Gunners hosting TAFIC as they look to continue their recent resurgence.

BDF on the other hand, who will feel they shot themselves in the foot with Modingwane’s moment of ill-discipline, travel to Mahalapye to take on BR Highlanders. 

CLOSE ENCOUNTER: BDF were the better side until they had a player sent off











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Daggers drawn for BFA top post



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



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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