Saturday, 24 July 2010

Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Botswana)

The Centre Chiefs come from the village of Mochudi in the south eastern corner of Botswana. Well I say a village, because that's what they call it themselves. But with a population of a little over 40,000 it's bigger than a lot of moderately large towns around these parts. Aside from the Chiefs this 'village' is perhaps most famous for the giant footprints on the outskirts of town, said to belong to the Matsieng, a giant from who the local Tswana people are said to be descended, who led his people and the animals from the centre of the earth to inhabit the world! So this is where everything started, folks!

The Chiefs formed in 1972, and play in the 10,000 capacity Mochudi Stadium in the nearby capital of Gabarone. They play in the Botswana Premier League - the highest level of football in the country. The league is almost exclusively won by teams from the south of Botswana, so it was a pleasant surprise when the Chiefs won the title in 2008, and finished a close second again last season.

The club and their fans are known to the rest of Botswana as Magosi, but they also go by a couple of other interesting nicknames - Maaparankwe and Kwa Rra Tswee-tswee - although I'm not sure what any of them mean, to be honest. But theirs is a league of great names, as other clubs include the fabulous sounding Township Rollers, Extension Gunners, Motlakase Power Dynamos, Miscellaneous, Black Peril and possibly the greatest team name in all football, Botswana Meat Commission - oh how I wish they played in black and white too! Botswanan football looks like great fun - just check out their Coca Cola Cup winning celebrations in the video below!

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