Once again football dominates the headlines

The year 2015 was yet another interesting year for Botswana sport. As is always the case, there was the good, the bad, the outrageous, the unexpected and the downright ugly. That is the nature of Botswana sport; unpredictable, but exciting. Some of the so-called small codes came to the forth and started to raise their hands.

Once again Football has dominated the headlines. This has been the most talked about, most written about sport code in 2015. The year has been dominated by the endless squabbles within local football teams. That has resulted in court cases being the order of the day.

What is happening at Township Rollers, Gaborone United, Centre Chiefs and off late Extension Gunners is a major disappointment. The worst of them being the ‘now boring’ spat between some parties at Township Rollers. I’m getting tired of all of them, and if I had the powers, I would rid the team of all of them. In all the sagas, it seems like everyone is looking at their own personal interests, forgetting that they don’t own these teams.

This has been a blot of Botswana football, as instead of concentrating of footballing matters, resources are spent on court cases, and time wanted on sowing discontent. It seems like most of these people forget that they don’t own these teams, and these teams existed before, and they will exist even after they leave.  Something needs to be done to remedy the situation. When one abates, another matter erupts at another club. We cannot go on like this.

This has also been an interesting year for football administration. One of the notables to remember is the firing of BFA CEO Keith Masters and his subsequent replacement by Kitso Kemoen. The matter elicited mixed emotions, but on the whole, many welcomed Masters’ firing. Kemoen has taken over and he is under the spotlight. It’s too soon to make any judgement, but so far, so good; looking from a distance. There was a point when CEO Bennet Mamelodi was said to have resigned, but eventually his contract was extended. He has done a good job and has steadied the BPL ship. Despite murmurs here and there of discontent from some quarters, he has done a relatively good job. Atleast some of the gaffes that used to be the order of the day at the BPL offices.

And then there is the ever under pressure BFA President Tebogo Sebego. For me, he has also done a good job, but could have done more. At times I had reservations about some of the decisions he took, but one thing I could give to him is that he was decisive and stuck to his guns. And not everyone will agree with decisions taken by the leadership. All in all, not a bad year in terms of administration at the BFA and the BPL which are the mother bodies. However there is great room for improvement.

On the pitch, Centre Chiefs were once again crowned League Champions after overhauling Township Rollers. Magosi clawed back a seemingly insurmountable lead and eventually won the League at the mid-point. After protracted boardroom matters, Notwane Football Club finally bit the dust and was relegated. After dodging relegation a few times, on more than one occasion, on technicalities, they could not dodge the bullet this time around, and was relegated for the first time ever. As to when they will be back to the elite league, we all wait to see.

This has also been an interesting year with unfancied Orapa United continuing where they left off last season, showing that they have great ambition. Under the tutelage of Peter James Butler, The senior National team has been improving. Despite pressure from some quarters, the team has done relatively well and continues to improve. Butler’s long term vision, his introduction of youngsters and relative unknowns into the team has won many over. We needed the change. The Franciwostson Stadium opened and it has since become the ‘Home’ of the Zebras.

All these were headline grabbers of note this year, some well and good and some unsavoury. As the most followed sport in the country, it is expected that Football continues to be in the headlines. Hopefully next year, we will have our football in the headlines for all the right reasons. 

Editor's Comment
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