Local football followers are set for an explosive start to the new season when four of the country’s biggest rivals clash in this year’s edition of the Barclays Kabelano Charity Spectacular. The 19th edition of the Kabelano spectacular promises to be yet another riveting affair, featuring regulars Township Rollers, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Extension Gunners who will this year be joined by yet another giant in the form of Gaborone United.
Moyagoleele, as GU is affectionately called by its followers, replaces Nico United of Selibe Phikwe as this year’s fourth team in the one day football spectacular. The addition of GU into the mix will attract even more spectators given the massive following enjoyed by the Gaborone football giants. On the field of play, the addition of GU will increase competition and make the tournament more explosive, given GU’s rivalry with all three teams.
Kabelano is widely regarded as the country’s biggest pre-season tournament and is usually used by clubs to gauge their readiness for the new season and supporters to have a glimpse of the new stars who will be donning their team colors in the new season. This year’s event promises to be even more competitive, given the prize monies to be won.
According to Terrence Dambe, Chairperson of the Kabelano Trust, this year’s prize monies will increase by ten percent from last year. Speaking at the launch of this season’s event at the Barclays Airport Junction Branch on Thursday, Dambe said the winners of this year’s Barclays Kabelano Charity Spectacular will walk away with P220 000 for their day’s work, with the runners-up taking home P110 000 while the two semi-final losers will receive P55 000 each. Explaining why GU was roped in to replace Nico United, Dambe said unlike the trio of Rollers, Gunners and Chiefs, who have signed three year contracts to compete in the event, there is no set criteria for selecting the fourth team.
He added that the fourth team is selected based on what is deemed good for the charity event. The charity football spectacular is sponsored by Barclays Bank Botswana, who have signed a two year deal with the Kabelano Trust to be the main sponsors. The sponsorship, which was agreed in March this year, follows up on the bank’s sponsorship of last year’s event. According to Barclays Bank of Botswana Treasurer, Kgotso Bannalotlhe, the bank decided to commit to the one day football spectacular after witnessing the massive success of last year’s event.
“For us, that was the defining moment. We have just agreed to partner with Kabelano Trust to resuscitate the spectacle and we are confident that this partnership will yield great results. I believe we met most of the expectations if not surpassed them,” he said.
He added that proceeds from last year’s event benefited four organizations, namely, Women Against Rape, Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Kagisano Women’s Shelter and the African Women Leadership Academy. Meanwhile, tickets for this year’s edition of Barclays Kabelano Charity Spectacular will go on sale from the 19th of June. According to the organizers, from the 19th June until the 20th of July, spectators will pay P150 for the grandstand and P100 for other stands.
Thereafter, an extra P20 will be added to the ticket prices, meaning those buying after the 20th of July until the day of the event will pay P170 for the grandstand and P120 elsewhere respectively. This year’s edition will be held on the 26th of July.