The trophy for the much anticipated Premier League championship was unveiled on Wednesday at the Lekidi Football Center during a ceremony that was attended by giants Magosi and GaboroneUnited, who will be clashing on Saturday at the Molepolole Sports Complex.
Speaking at the ceremony, the chairman of the Botswana Premier League, Mr. M. Molefe, said that the game will not be played at the UB Stadium as initially arranged but will be moved to the Molopolole Sports Complex, which has a sitting capacity of 8 000.
Molefe said that all necessary preparations were followed to make sure that the match is a success.
He added that they had discussions with GU, the hosting team, and the Mogoditshane Police to address security issues and to maintain order at the match.
Adding on the issue of security logistics, the Premier League General Manager, Setete Phuthego, said that coordination and provision of security would be handled by the Premier League to assure the highest state of security.
Phuthego said 70 guards, besides the police officers who will be there, will be deployed to make sure that there is order.
On the issue of the increasing road accidents that often claim the lives of football followers, Phuthego said the Premier League would liaise with the police to monitor traffic on the road between the SSG Barracks and the Metsimotlhabe Road to prevent any reckless driving. He added that football fans can alternatively use the Thamaga road to avoid congestion on the Molepolole road.
Molefe further urged football lovers to get to the stadium early as gates will be open at 1000 hrs and be closed by 1400 hrs.
He therefore advised fans to respect time.
“This will be a special game, and a special game needs drastic measures, so if people come late we will shut them out. After all, we will have sold the tickets; it’s up to them to come early.”
He cautioned the spectators that as a security measure no alcohol will be taken at the game and anything that might be used as a weapon will not be allowed into the stadium.
In response to a question from a reporter, Molefe explained that as the Premier League, they have confidence in the local referees and they believe whoever will be officiating at the match will do enough justice to both teams.
It is obvious that Saturday’s game will decide who the true giants of local football are.
GU wants to snatch away the championship from the defending champions, Magosi, who want to retain their title as the league champions.
The importance and magnitude of the game was evidenced by the tense and uncertain atmosphere that surrounded the coaches of the two teams.
Each coach could not optimistically proclaim victory for his side but rather both decided to be humble and respectful of their opponent, with the Gaborone United coach, Mike Sithole, saying: “I have nothing much to say. For the first time, the league is decided by the last game and we are well prepared to entertain our supporters and give them the best football.”
It was the same with the Magosi head coach who avoided answering a question from the press on whether he was going to win Saturday’s game and take the glittering trophy to the Kgatleng.
“Our team is intact and fully prepaid and I want to appreciate what Be-mobile is doing for local football. I assure you of a good game on Saturday,” was all the coach would say.
The captains of the two teams also shied away from being out rightly judgmental but both promised their supporters a good game.
Pontsho Moloi, the Center Chiefs captain, said his team is psychologically and physically prepared adding that, “We have been there before and done that. We once trailed behind GU by seven points, but we are now back on track.”
The Money Machines captain, Joseph Phuthego, said that they will give the game their best.
“We pray to God that the best happens on our side.”
The team that wins Saturday’s encounter will pocket P1 million, courtesy of network service provider, be-Mobile.
Another interesting encounter of the weekend will be the clash between Nico United and Mogoditshane Fighters on Sunday. Both teams are fighting to avoid relegation.
The team that losses Sunday’s encounter will immediately head for the First Division.
The be-Mobile final kicks off at 1500hrs and tickets for the march are P30 each, a P5 increment, while the grand stand tickets will be P50. Tickets are available at JB Sports, be-Mobile and at BTC outlets.
Additional ticket outlets will be communicated during the course of the week.
Maxy, Mosako and other local musicians will keep the soccer lovers on their toes with entertainment.