Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Local lads won’t grace the Gothia Cup this year

The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYESCD) will not take part in the Gothia Cup that will take place in the near future. 

This was revealed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Kago Ramokate during his appearance before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC). 

The Gothia Cup is the World Youth Cup played by youngsters from Under-11 categories up to Under-18 (boys and girls).

Ramokate told the PAC that his ministry was financially constrained to support the Botswana teams for that event. “

Last year Somerset Gobuiwang took Top Stars youth team to Sweden where the Gothia Cup is hosted every year. 

Ditlhapelo Keorapetse PAC member and also 

Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe West, had asked ministry’s accounting officer, Ramokate, to inform the committee what role they had in the Gothia Cup. 

“We are financially constrained to support teams that take part in the Gothia Cup. We find it defeating to finance Gothia Cup when the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) affiliates and national teams are always engaged and consume a lot of money,” Ramokate said. 

Keorapetse observed that participating in Gothia Cup exposed Botswana talent abroad and chances of them being identified by scouts were high. He said it was a good base for development which needed to be supported. 

“I am surprised your ministry does not play any role in the Gothia Cup,” Keorapetse quipped.

When answering him further Ramokate said: “It’s all about priorities and working on limited budget we prioritise which one to support first”.

Keorapetse’s view is that if the ministry could support local teams that would be going for the Gothia Cup tournament the country stood chances of benefiting in exporting some of the young talent to bigger clubs where players will be able to make a meaningful living out of playing football. 

Ramokate told the PAC that Botswana Embassy in Sweden assisted Top Stars during their stay in Sweden last year.


Read this week's paper