MOROKA, BOTSWANA – Moroka Swallows emerged winners of the inaugural FFA Cup. Six teams took part in the tournament held in Moroka Village held the in the North East district of Botswana. The 7-a-aside competition which drew teams from Moroka and the neighbouring villages was hosted at Moroka Primary School. A curtain raiser for the tournament pitted Moroka Primary School against Jackalas. The local school kids beat their counterparts on post-match penalties setting the stage for the main tournament.
The teams were split into 2 groups with the winner and runners-up in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. Moroka Swallows topped group 1 after winning both their matches, 2 – 1 against Zaragoza and 3 – 1 against All-Stars. All-Stars then beat Zaragoza 1 – 0 to earn second place and a spot in the semi-final. The second group was a much tighter affair. In the first match, Aces drew against one all against Celtic, while in the second match a superior Tjempies beat Celtic 3 – 1. The last match in this group saw Tjempies battle to a barren draw against Aces to top the group with Aces taking the second spot.
The semi-finals saw Swallows take on Aces while Tjempies were up against All-Stars. Moroka Swallows beat Aces on post-match penalties after a goalless match while Tjempies beat All-Stars 1 – 0 in the other semi-final. A mouth-watering final was on the cards pitting Moroka Swallows, the crowd favourites, against Tjemies who had travelled from the nearby city, Francistown. Despite treating the crowd to an entertaining display, the match ended with no goals, setting up a nail-biting penalty shoot-out. Following seven rounds of penalties Moroka Swallows ran out winners of FFA Cup 2018.
Obama Cup 2019
Moroka Swallows will now have the opportunity to travel to Nairobi Kenya for the annual Obama Cup to be held on February 2nd 2019. This arrangement is contingent on the availability of funds. Obama Cup brings together teams from the corporate sector, academia and local communities and seeks to connect participants to training, employment and business opportunities. This is achieved by bringing together various stakeholders from both public and private sectors to provide a networking platform within the framework of the tournament.
Football and Community Development
FFA Cup 2018 provided a rare opportunity for the village of Moroka and neighbouring communities to come out and interact with others as well as the various organisations that supported the event. This is a demonstration of how football and similar sports events can help in community development. As was expressed by many who attended the event, it was the first time the village was the focus of the whole country for sporting reasons.
Various organisations took the opportunity to showcase their products and services at the career exhibition that ran concurrently with the tournament. These included various government ministries and departments such as the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Cultural Development; Ministry of Health, Department of Forestry and Range Resources and Tati Land Board. These organisations used the occasion to bring their services and information to the people, providing a rare opportunity for the community.
The community, through the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and the Village Development Committee (VDC) were also engaged in organising the tournament. They were mainly charged with hospitality and mobilising the community to attend and support the event. The Football Foundation for Africa CEO was hugely impressed by their involvement, an act he says demonstrates how football can be used to harness the power of communities to create successful ventures. In his address during the opening ceremony, he emphasized that such sports events only serve to bring people together and it is up to organisers and participants to see how best to create added value for the development of individuals and communities.
As noted, the tournament drew stakeholders from various sectors of society including the public sector, private sector and civil society. This kind of support is key to the development of football and sports in general, especially at the grassroots level. While speaking at the opening ceremony, chief guest and Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Dikgang Makgamele applauded the FFA for reaching out to the grassroots using sport as an avenue for development. He noted that due to logistics and infrastructure often times talent at the grassroots level goes unnoticed. His comments were echoed by Hon. Biggie Butale, the minister for health who was also present at the event. Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Football Association Mr Mfolo Mfolo was equally happy with the initiative and spoke of the need to develop partnerships in order to develop football in Botswana and Africa as a whole.
The tournament was sponsored by two companies, technology company OTB Africa and Botswana’s leading telecommunications service provider Mascom Wireless. Mascom Wireless were present on the ground taking the opportunity to meet with their customers and also showcase their services to prospective clients. And in line with the tournament’s theme, Tackling Unemployment through Sport, Mascom Wireless demonstrated one of their entrepreneurial products, Mascom Kitsong Centre. The initiative that was started in 2010 aims to empower local entrepreneurs with digital skills and roll out essential ICT services to local communities, especially in the rural areas.
Creating Shared Value
Private sector involvement is key for the development of football and sports in general. Through investment in sport for development interventions such as the FFA Cup, companies can create shared value in the communities that serve as their customers. In return they are able to grow their client base as was witnessed during the tournament where Mascom Wireless were able to sign up new clients for their service offerings. This kind of approach to sponsorship should be encouraged and improved on to ensure sport properties and sponsors derive mutual gains. Especially in Africa, companies can reconnect business and society by generating economic value in a way that also produces value for society by addressing challenges such as unemployment.
The tournament’s organising committee also did an outstanding job in realising this event. The committee was constituted as follows:
- Angelinah Boniface-Kegakilwe
- Leslie Mpofu
- Busani Segweni
- Kealeboga Tladi
- Brian Wesaala
The Football Foundation for Africa wishes to congratulate the team and thank them for their efforts in making the first FFA Cup a resounding success.
The inaugural FFA Cup was a great success and the Football Foundation for Africa looks forward to organising similar tournaments in Botswana. There was overwhelming support from the public and private sector as well as civil society, which was very encouraging and it is hoped that this kind of relationships can be strengthened in a bid to create lasting value for our communities.