Gilport Lions chairman Kelesitse Gilika has attacked the Botswana Premier League Board and the footballing fraternity at large, saying they are failing local football. Gilika said the BPL board and the football fraternity are only good at dealing with petty issues while they ignore important issues that could help develop local football. He said this at the memorial service of the departed Township Rollers star Gofaone Tiro on Thursday. The Rollers star is said to have collapsed at training and later died last week Friday. It was announced at the memorial service that Tiro’s death was caused by a heart problem. A post-mortem, which was done on Thursday morning, revealed that he had a swollen heart. Gilika said what happened to Tiro should be a wakeup call for the football fraternity to start coming up with ideas that will help guard against such things. He said the BPL board should come up with ways of ensuring that when such tragedy happens, families of the players would be well taken care of after the departure of their child. “All that we know is talk about petty issues that do not grow local football while there are crucial issues that should be addressed to grow football,” said Gilika. He said people should ask themselves what they have done to contribute to the development of football in Botswana, urging all people to start focusing on important issues and desist from petty ones that only destroy football. Rollers loyalist and well-wishers thronged the National Stadium to remember their fallen hero Tiro. What was supposed to be a sad moment turned out to be a heart-warming one as speakers recited their experience with Tiro. The 26-year-old was described as a very talented and determined player, who loved football from a very young age.
His mother Talita Tiro, who gave a comforting speech, said he showed his love for football from the age of three and has never looked back. “He was very passionate and watched Kaizer Chiefs on television. At the age of three, he knew all the players by name,” she said. Though she was hurting Talita said she is happy that her son grew to make a huge impact on the local football as evidenced by the multitudes that came to bid him farewell. She said her son usually regaled her about how much he had put her in the map. “I never understood what he was saying until today. The multitudes I see here now make sense to me what my boy has always been telling me,” she said. Talita concurred with Gilika, saying what happened to his boy should be a lesson to the football fraternity to start working hard to make sure such occurrences never repeat themselves. Tiro joined Rollers in 2013. His brother Nicholas Tiro said his brother was a determined young man who always got what he wanted. His death has been described as a great loss to the family, Rollers and local football at large. Rollers Chairman Walter Kgabung said they were expecting a lot from him but his sudden departure came very early. Tiro was laid to rest at his home village of Gulubane on Saturday morning.