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Covid-19 Threatens Mares Champions League Dream

Slovakia’s elite league side, Partizan Bardejov remain keen to have Mares’ duo of Sedilame Bosija and Refilwe Tholakele in their books despite coronavirus.

The move would make the pair the first local players to play in the UEFA Champions League. The pair was invited for a four months trial with the side from March 3 until June 30. But is yet to receive visas due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

Speaking to Monitor Sport, the players’ representative, Moran Nthoiwa of Nthoiwa Sports Excellence said the players are invited to go and train with the team for a period of 90 days. In this period they would have been able to play in the league with their residential permit. The trial was to assess the players with a possibility of a permanent deal.

“The team remains keen. We are awaiting visas. At the moment,we are just looking at the outcome of the pandemic, just to see if there is an opportunity for the players to travel. The players’ health is the priority on this one. But the team remains keen. Hopefully we can get the players to

Slovakia sooner,” he said.

He further said the duo has attracted interest from a host of Slovak teams after the Mares’ two week training camp in August 2019.

“Since the national team played in Slovakia, a number of teams have shown interest in our players. We could have had more going to Slovakia, but we can have these two at the moment, but in the future I foresee a lot of the players in the women’s team play in Europe,” Nthoiwa said.

Bosija currently plays for Bloemfontein Celtic. She helped the team finish third in the just season. Tholakele plies her trade for Township Rollers in the Gaborone Region Women’s league.

Bardejov currently sits second in their 10-team league, just two points behind the log leaders. They have won the league once and came second on four occasions. The team has one appearance in the UEFA Women’s Champions League in the 2018/2019 season and could make their second showing in the next season.




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