Botswana’s elite football season will kick start this Saturday (August 11) at the National Stadium all thanks to the much-anticipated BTC Charity Cup. The inaugural tourney, which is fully sponsored by Botswana Telecommunication Corporation Limited (BTCL) will pit four soccer rivals against each other as they battle it out for the coveted title trophy. The pre-season tournament will see the first game in the morning featuring Gaborone United and Mochudi Center Chiefs while midday will see Township Rollers locking horns with Orapa United.
The four are the final most voted teams by their respective fans to take part in a tourney which is fully funded by BTC. During the competition’s draw, which was held at Lekidi Football Centre on Monday morning, Mochudi Center Chiefs garnered 31402 votes, Gaborone United earned 34979 votes while Township Rollers was voted for by 36309 fans and Orapa United securing 37472, out of total of 225 050 votes cast across all the teams.
Speaking at the draw on Monday, Botswana Football Association (BFA) Vice President, Marslow Motlogelwa said it is a historic moment for Botswana football to have BTC on board as a partner using the soccer platform to give back to the under privileged community as well as strengthen their commitment to the football fraternity.
Motlogelwa further thanked every Motswana who cast their votes to choose all the selected teams saying that truly shows the fans’ commitment to growing local football whilst ploughing back into their communities.
“It is important to note the contribution made by BTC towards the development of soccer whilst giving back to the community, especially that our local clubs continue to face financial constraints thus cannot instantly give back to the community,” added Motlogelwa.
Meanwhile, the BTC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Anthony Masunga urged the BFA and other local sporting codes to take care of every sponsorship that they continue to have as that ultimately contributes to their return on investment. He said governance in sport is under heavy scrutiny especially for public companies.
“At BTC, we are a listed company therefore critical to everyone that we sponsor to be accountable for all that we sponsor, governance in sport is very key. Our commitment to football is undoubtedly seen across the football fraternity. When we renewed the league sponsorship last season, we promised to bring back the charity cup and today we launch the draw of the tournament. We are grateful for what football has done to our brand too. Our services such as #LiveSocial has been received gratefully by the public. We can carry the momentum going forward,” he concluded. Team representatives were also in their element as they all gunned for the coveted championship.
“We are used to winning and on Saturday it will be the same motivation, however we think that the top four teams should be derived from the league’s top four and not by voting,” said Township Rollers spokesperson, Phempheretlhe Pheto.
Center Chiefs chairman, Raymond Tsheko said they have calculated their strategies well to finish amongst the top 4 best voted teams. The draw further favored them as they are pitted against fellow strugglers, Gaborone United with the aim to eliminate them to reach the finals.
“We can only thank our supporters for having faith in the team to reach this stage, and football will be played in the field. I therefore urge the Moyagoleele family to throng the national stadium to rally behind their team as we prepare for the start of the season,” said Kennedy Ramojela of Gaborone United.
The winner will pocket P300 000 followed by P200 000 for runners up and third position and four will each get P120 000. The individual prize money for the one day tournament will include top goal scorer receiving P6000, Player of the tournament P15 000, Best goal Keeper P5000 , Man of Match P2500, Coach of the tournament P6000, referee of the tournament P6000, Assistant Referee P4000 and Best dressed Supporter will scoop P2500.