Fans want Mares name change

Fans want a better nickname for the women's side. PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Fans want a better nickname for the women's side. PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) will have to come up with another nickname for the women’s national soccer team, as fans have expressed their disapproval of 'Mares'.

Last year September, the BFA had indicated the national team would be called the ‘She Zebras’, but there was an overwhelming dislike for the name.

Mares, was then adopted, but it has not found much favour from the fans.

A poll conducted by Mmegi Sport this week, indicated that a majority of the fans want a name change. Some went to the extent of indicating that they cannot even pronounce ‘Mares’ suggesting a name that resonates with fans would be better suited.

Of the nearly 3,000 fans who took part in the Facebook poll, 74% indicated that the name should be changed, while 26% are fine with Mares. “What is the meaning of Mares before we say we love the name or not?” asked Obakeng Motswiri. Trevor Mack reckons there is need for a name change for both the Zebras and Mares. “I think we should change both Mares and Zebras.

Since Independence, we were called Zebras and teams have been assaulting us mercilessly (sic). Let us find a scary name,” Mack said. Sesupo Lesole said Mares was inappropriate.  “If we use it, then males should be called Stallions. Therefore Botswana would have taken another African country’s nickname. There is only one name to indicate both male and female, that is Zebra,” Lesole said.

But Galekhutle Ontiretse does not have any qualms with the name.

“As long as they are winning, I have no problem with the name.” BFA’s marketing and public relations officer, Tumo Mpatane, distanced the association from the moniker, saying it was the creation of the media.   “The name comes from the media, we refer to the team as the women’s national team. As football people we get attached to our nicknames.

But we acknowledge that the team needs a nickname,” Mpatane said. “There is a project to rebrand women’s football, the success of the team put pressure that team is nicknamed and Batswana want a name that they can relate with. Very soon, we will engage the public to find an appropriate name.”

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