Football Highlights In 2022!

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As the year draws to an end we take a peep in to the world of football, which without doubt brought mixed feelings as it is norm- of the exciting and dull moments both at home and internationally.

Internationally, 2022 featured several notable sports events, more precisely, the most watched tournament and just ended FIFA World Cup which was held from 21st November 2022 to 18th December 2022 in Qatar. The cup was moved from its usual June date to November due to the adverse weather conditions in the host country and it also became the first football world cup to be hosted in the Middle East.

The cup saw Lionel Messi side (Argentina) winning the tournament for the third time now in 36 years on penalties (4-2) against the defending champions, France. As usual the show piece was the most watched and viewed event in the world of sports as all eyes were zoomed on the nation of Qatar. 

The event, involved 32 national teams and Morocco became the only African country that qualified for the semi-finals and won the forth (4) position after losing 2-0 to Croatia on the third place match.

In the African continent, the African Cup of Nations was the major event in 2022 after it was rescheduled from 2021 owing to the covid-19 pandemic and it was subsequently held from the 9th January to 6th February 2022. The tournament’s final was played at the newly built Paul Biya Stadium in Yaoundé, Cameroon on the 6th February and was won by Senegal on penalties against Egypt.

Also one of the outstanding events in the region was the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, the 14th edition of the biennial African international women’s football tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) hosted by Morocco in July. This is where The Mares (Botswana Ladies National Team) fought all the way to the quarter finals of the tournament for the first time in the history of women’s football of the country.

In group C, the Mares got position three with 3 points after their 4-2 win against Burundi and two loses against Nigeria (2-0) and South Africa (1-0) before proceeding to the knockout stage where they lost to Morocco by 2 goals to 1. They were then beaten by Cameroon 1-0. In the tournament, Keitumetse Dithebe and Refilwe Tholakele scored 2 goals apiece while Lesego Radiakanyo scored a goal.

Locally, we saw the year 2022 coming with some delays in the start of the Botswana Football League (BFL) owing to Club Licensing (CL) issues and lack of sponsorships. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) suspended Extension Gunners, Morupule Wanderers, Mogoditshane Fighters, Eleven Angels and Masitaoka for failing to comply with the mandatory Club Licensing Regulations as contained in the BFA Club licensing manual.

The League was postponed many times as the teams failed to meet the CL requirements. At last after their suspension was lifted the league finally started with Gaborone United currently sitting at the top with 22 points from 7 wins and a draw followed by Jwaneng Galaxy with 19 points from 6 wins and a draw.

The First Division League also started late towards the end of the year without sponsorship. The Nhabe representative, Sankoyo Bush Bucks ended the first round trailing behind with 3 points from 7 games played. It is the first time in the history of the team to languish at the bottom of the table in this season.

Frustrated club supporters have since called for the sucking of the coaching staff blaming them for the poor results. Meanwhile, newly promoted Mbalakalungu from Chobe continues to do wonder as they are sitting on second position with 13 points from 3 wins and 4 draws without a loss

On a positive note, BFA in collaboration with Regional Football Associations trained more coaches on BFA B and C License which is equivalent to the out of which, one was a woman while regarding the BFA C License they trained 35 coaches in the Shakawe area.

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