It has been a year that sport would want to forget in a hurry, as tears, sparked by a spate of untimely deaths, flowed endlessly. Football lost nine footballers and one prominent administrator, while two athletes collapsed and died in the line of duty, writes MQONDISI DUBE
Year starts and ends in tears
Sport, particularly, football, was plunged into constant mourning, starting with the death of seven players in Gumare who were on their way to a Constituency tournament game in February. Athletics lost 400m runner, Omphemetse Mokgadi who collapsed and died during training last month. Another athlete also collapsed and died during the inaugural Mogoditshane half marathon in August. Football suffered further losses when First Division players, Lovemore Murirwa and Lesego ‘Ricalmer’ Matoteng died within hours of each other, in separate road accidents in October. As the year, winds down, there is no respite for the mourning sports family, after last weekend’s devastating news that Mochudi Centre Chiefs official, Clifford Mogomotsi had died in a car crash in Gaborone.
Malepa loses deadly foot
ECCO City Greens legend, Malepa Bolelang suffered a freak accident, which claimed his deadly right leg after it was amputated. Bolelang’s right boot was responsible for propelling ‘Mamoja Diski’ to their first and only title which crossed the Dibete in 2007.
The hot slap
TAFIC defender, Samuel Phiri kick-started the year with a bizarre moment, when in a fit of rage, he landed a hot clap on the cheeks of a bamboozled Township Rollers, Edwin Moalosi during a league match at the UB Stadium in January.
Joel Mogorosi and Mthokozisi
Zebras touch new lows
The Zebras fell to new lows as they failed to register a win in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. They are bottom of Group I with one round to play in the qualifiers, and are in danger of finishing without a win. The Under-23 side also found the going tough, failing to clear the first hurdle as they bowed out of the Olympic Games qualifiers at the hands of Malawi. There was no good news for the Under-20 side which failed to make a mark at the COSAFA Cup tournament in Zambia recently
Mixed year for Rollers
Township Rollers finally graduated from boys to men when they became the first Botswana side to qualify for the group stages of the CAF Champions League last season. They finished last in a group that had giants, Al Ahly, Esperance and Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA). But after climbing to dizzy heights, Rollers came tumbling down after a first round exit to unfashionable Lesotho side, Bantu FC, in this season’s CAF Champions League. Orapa United failed to improve on their debut CAF Confederations Cup performance, as they instead, were embarrassed 6-0 on aggregate by Angolan side, Petro de Luanda.