After seven years of absence, the Football Association (FA) Cup returns to the playing grounds this weekend, with widespread rains expected.
The cup was last played in 2012 with soft drink manufacturing company, Coca-Cola as the sponsor. This time around telecommunications company, Orange Botswana has come on board and the competition is played under the tagline #KgaaTshoo, shortened for “Kga tshoo! hao sa bona wa jewa”, a widely used tagline for knockout games.
The games will kick off this weekend in the Southern Block. Speaking at a press briefing in Gaborone yesterday, Orange Botswana sponsorship coordinator, Mosarwa Molema said there is excitement around the Orange FA Cup as it quenches the thirst for competitiveness and inclusiveness in the football community in the country.
“We are excited to be part of football again especially with the biggest cup in the country. This is the biggest cup in the country because it is inclusive. It gives the teams in the lower divisions a chance to test their mantle by playing against these big teams,” he said.
Botswana Football Association regional coordinator, Setete Phuthego said organisers have introduced double headers in order to reduce travelling costs for the teams, and also as a way to attract larger crowds.
“Though we would have liked the small teams to play home in the first round, we had to introduce double headers. Games that are played in one region will be moved to one venue,” Phuthego said. “To avoid any confusion, we have issued the competition’s playing rules and regulations to anyone involved. I must note that, if the game remains level at regulation time it will go straight to penalty shootouts,” he clarified.
Meanwhile, organisers of the tournament are worried about the downpours that have hit the country this week.
The Department of Meteorological Services has issued a warning that the heavy rains will continue until the weekend.
“Bearing current weather conditions in mind, we hope that the games will be played according to schedule. But in the event the games are disrupted by the weather conditions, we will refer to the playing rules. We should remember that the next round will be played at the end of March. This allows us to hold replays if need be,” Phuthego said.
Tickets are on sale with double headers going for P20 while other games are P10. The draw of the round of last 32 will take place on February 24 at the Serowe Sports Complex after the Northern Block games. This will include Premiership teams. The final is on May 25.
First Round Fixture List (Southern Block)
Saturday, February 16, 2019
Black Peril vs Fighters
Tlokweng Grounds 14:00
Holy Ghost vs Red Sparks
Tlokweng Grounds 16:00
J. Fighters vs Digodi
Mmankgodi Grounds 16:00
Sand Diamonds vs Motaung Fighters
Tshane Grounds 14:00
Blue Stars vs Notwane
Tshane Grounds 16:00
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Rovers vs Prisons XI
Rovers Grounds 14:00
Broadhurst Utd vs Atlanta Chiefs
Rovers Grounds 16:00
Black Rangers vs King Rodgers
Tsabong Grounds 16:00