According to a report on the club’s website, United felt it would serve their interest much better to honour an invitation in Mozambique against Costa do Sol and Desportivo de Maputo than the tournament in Gaborone.
United had received invitations for the same weekend and while the media in Botswana had reported that the Gavin Hunt-coached team would be honouring the tournament in Gaborone, the club has now instead opted for a weekend in Maputo.
“It also gives them an opportunity to honour their latest acquisition,” said a source close to the club, who was referring to Elias “Dominguez” Pelembe, their latest schemer signed from Desportivo during the off season.
While Matsatsantsa have been criticised and condemned elsewhere for releasing Teko Modise, they have been highly praised for recruiting the elusive “Dominguez”, who has already been hailed as one of the finest footballers ever to come from the land that produced the inimitable Black Panther - Eusebio.
Dominguez showed that he has really blossomed and come of age when he stunned a packed 60 000 national stadium in Dar es Salaam in October when he mesmerised the Tanzania’s defence, twisted their right-back and, from an acute angle, centered for Tico-Tico who scored the only goal of the match that knocked the hosts out of the African Nations Cup in Ghana.
Many supporters in Botswana will certainly be disappointed about United’s withdrawal but can take solace from the fact that another South African team -Bloemfontein Celtic - will be in town during the same weekend to face Township Rollers.
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports at the weekend have it that Orlando Pirates are interested in the services of Matsatsants defender Siphiwe Mkhonza. However, neither club is prepared to say anything on the matter.