Algerian born gaffer Adel Amrouche has emerged as a surprise front runner for the Senior National Team coaching job- WeekendSport has learnt. The football association is expected to announce the next coach as adjudicators tasked with interviewing and recruiting the right candidate are busy forwarding names to the technical committee.
Sources speaking with this publication indicate that Amrouche has pulled an astonishing comeback, leap frogging Vaselin Julesic who was believed to be the type of mold BFA wants. Amrouche’s last football involvement was Lybia but resigned after failing to take the country to the just ended edition of AFCON 2019. It is said the coach who has dual citizenship-one from Belgium- left the Libya football team who are famously known as Desert Knights because of unchecked salary frustrations.
Sources further state that Amrouche is courted to watch The Zebras as they play against Zambia in the second round of CHAN competition two weeks from now. It is not clear whether the association has somersaulted against the decision to re- employ Vasco as he is commonly known or Amrouche is just providing a needed competitive edge. Vasco even went to an extent of attending Zebras game against Angola at Francistown Sports complex but information about his ascendency to the post disappeared without trace since then.
Veselin coached The Zebras sometimes in 2002 and arguably remains the best mentor to have drilled the squad. The Serbian coach once changed from international assignments to club football with Bloemfontein Celtic but did not last due to financial difficulties. However, there remains a strong possibility that an identified Russian coach may take the plum post. While that is happening, Peter Butler’s name is mentioned, but the BFA does not want anything to do with him. It is reported that the Minister of Youth empowerment, Culture and sport development is the man pushing the association to re-appoint him.
A key consideration at the BFA is a possible public or media backlash when it approaches the Algerian particularly that he was not the kind of high profile appointment that was expected. It is also obvious that former Major David Bright was furious about the manner in which his case was handled. BFA felt the coach had failed to turn around the fortunes of the country. But in whatever way, the local football body is ready and prepared for hostile response from some quarters.
Even if many admired the former Gaborone United mentor, the BFA seems unmoved in its determination that ‘Fakuda’ as he is known in football circles had failed on his undertakings. The football regime is said to be willing to interview and agree possible terms with the pragmatic coach as soon as possible to start assembling and drilling the depleted national squad. However, the Algerian does need little introduction. His first African experience as a national team coach was with Kenya before settling with Burundi.
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.
Some disgruntled Botswana Football League (BFL) shareholders are planning to petition the BFL board led by Gaborone United director and chief financier Nicolas Zackhem and his treasurer Jagdish Shah. Furthermore, they want to challenge the Botswana football Association (BFA) leadership over the deteriorating status of football in the country.
Botswana Football Association (BFA) is poised to benefit from FIFA’s forward development programme. The Association will receive over P80 million to be used during the course of the next four years, as the world football governing body is strengthens its commitment to building a stronger foundation and the growth of football.
The Forward 3.0 funds – to be accessed by all 54 CAF members for the next four years have seen an increase of USD 2 million compared to Forward 2.0 cycle and Forward 1.0 cycle when the programme was launched.
According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the third cycle of the programme will be launched this month and it will dedicate more financial resources than before to developing football nations as there is an overall increase of approximately 30% compared to Forward 2.0.
“It is vital that we are now strengthening our commitment to building a stronger foundation for the growth of football,” Infantino noted.
The 62 page report by FIFA-Forward-Development-Programme-Forward-3-0-regulations also reveals that for travel and equipment, each member association, subject to compliance with the regulations, will receive an additional USD 1 million to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for their national teams. It further states that the remaining funds may be used to cover the cost of travel and accommodation for domestic competitions organized by the member associations.
“A contribution of up to USD 200,000 for the four-year cycle (2023-2026) to cover the cost of any football equipment related to the training of players and organization of matches (e.g. full kits for the national teams, balls, mini goals, bibs, substitution boards and referees’ communication systems) for those member associations that are identified as needing the most assistance,” the report indicated.
FIFA President, Infantino and his team said the member association is identified as needing the most assistance, for the purpose of the contributions, where their annual revenues (excluding Forward Programme funds as well as funds from any other FIFA programme/ initiative) do not exceed USD 4 million as the figure shall be reflected in the latest annual statutory audit report submitted to the FIFA general secretariat within six months after the closing of the relevant financial year.
Nevertheless, the contributions for travel will be released in four equal installments of USD 250,000 each in January every year, whilst those for equipment will be released in four equal installments of USD 50,000 each in January every year provided that the member association has fulfilled the conditions.
For the specific projects – in the case of Botswana and Namibia – there is an ambition to host the AFCON 2027 and if the joint bid succeed, the two nations will need to build new stadium to meet the requirements of CAF as the Bid technical committee has alluded before; therefore the two associations could make an appeal for extra funds to FIFA.
The report further says where a member association uses funds allocated for specific projects to improve or build new football infrastructure for its direct benefit or for the benefit of another entity (e.g. regional associations or clubs), the member association shall also provide, as part of the supporting documents, the FIFA general secretariat with the relevant national land registry certificate or extract confirming that the member association or the other entity is the owner of the land or the agreements confirming the donation, transfer or other form of provision to, or use of land by the association.
When contacted for comment, local sports analyst, Jimmy George said; “Ours is more a lack of vision, than money to finance programs. Regrettably when you lack vision not even USD 8 million can bail you out. Its pity the funds might be used to pay for the past projects that have yielded very little success.”