Daniel ‘Chicco’ Nare’s dream of finishing off as the finest mentor of this season’s Mascom Top 8 competition were punctured Saturday afternoon when Township Rollers drove the final nail to his coffin at the Francistown Sports Complex.
Just a few days after his side lost to Township Rollers, Orapa United management instituted a brief investigation and uncovered that their assistant coach, Nare played a dangerous role that saw the team eventually losing to rivals Rollers â€• a finding that risked his place at the Orapa based outfit. At press time this paper had learnt that the club was preparing to sack the former Extension Gunners mentor who is now redeployed to head the youth structures.
Sources told WeekendSport that a few days before the final; Nare approached the management and asked that he be allowed to lead the team to the fateful final because he stood a better chance of winning the coveted coach of the season award. It appears that his plea threw the club between a rock and a hard place since an agreement had already been hatched with head coach Bongani Mafu. Sources however feel that Nare was on the rails to shape this consideration more because he almost single-handedly led the club to the finals.
Nobody knows exactly what transpired between the assistant coach and the Orapa United management, but sources say Nare has been under intense scrutiny the day he signed for the mining giants. Reports say cases of late coming have been dangerously hovering over his head and the decision to alter the training times irked those who run the team. He was accused of coming late during his first game against Township Rollers and the second time was against BDF XI.
But it is said the final straw that broke the camel’s back came on the eve of the Mascom Top 8 final when the starting first XI was ultimately announced. Sources say head coach Bongani Mafu passed the line up to club manager Patrick Motsepe to print it. But those inside the ‘United circle claim that Nare felt that he was not consulted and therefore forced changes almost immediately.
Goalkeeper Mosimanegape Roberts was to start the game on the bench together with right back player Kealeboga Molebatsi. But Nare dragged them into the starting XI, substituting Josephs and Obonye Moswate. The development, according to information before Orapa United management meant that both Mafu and Nare were not in agreeing terms as of going to the final. It is further said that Mafu suggested to Nare and the rest of the technical committee in the dugout that goalkeeper Roberts be substituted basing on his match fitness. Mafu, sources say was irritated by the manner in which the goalkeeper conceded what was Roller’s second goal.
Mafu’s suggestions were out rightly dispelled by Nare, whom sources say countered that even midfielder Tapiwa Nyamandiva be taken out, a reply that appeared to shock Mafu. Reports say the coach argued that Nyamandiva was one of the best players on the day and could never be substituted. It is claimed that Chico was not surprised by Mafu’s response and the fact that both Nyamandiva and Mafu are ‘homeboys’â€• which was immediately seen as a case of favouritism according to sources who were close to developments.
Subsequent to United losing the game, the management, it is said, is now on a firing mood. Coach Mafu is expected to appear before the committee for failing to tame and control his assistant, Nare. Mafu is also expected to provide answers as to why he let the team spend another night in Francistown contrary to an agreement that the team should return to Orapa right after the encounter. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Roberts might also be summoned, and the fact that he failed to come for training does not help his case.
According to Nare, on Tuesday night at Itekeng stadium after training, Vice-chair Nkape addressed players on the Francistown trip and told them as of Wednesday 07/03/18 “I am no longer the assistant coach of Orapa united”. He said the vice-chair went on to question how two coaches could wear suits on the bench creating confusion as to who the head was, especially because the assistant didn't perform warm up duties.
Further, Nare revealed that Nkape is said to have said he saw him (Nare) in conversation with the Rollers coach, laughing and “kissing me on the cheek at the press box when I should have been addressing the players”. “He later on told the players that they will decide where to deploy me and further told the players that by removing me from the first team was not the end of the world for me as I will be called to appear before the board to explain my suit wearing, Nikola’s kiss and differences on the bench pertaining to subs and game reading,” are said.
Further, the former Extension Gunners mentor added: “I am not sure if this is how suspension should be carried out if indeed it is suspension. I think out of respect for each other I should have been called to the office separately and advised of my suspension and save me the humiliation in front of my players.” He continued: “My take is that I have been embarrassed, humiliated and belittled in front of my players over a simple administrative issue.”
Nare also said he had heard over the radio through the club PRO that he had been suspended, but that without a hearing and without a letter, he believed “Mr Chair was addressing the players not me”. “I now don't know what my defence will be at that board hearing because I have been tried, judged and sentenced in front of the players so my cause of natural justice has been compromised to say the least.”
Further, he said that he was also aware that additional charges had been added (that of remaining behind in Ghetto to watch the Tafic/BDF game). He said he however stayed behind because he knew he would play both in a row the following week and because he wanted to collect his suit form th bus. He insists he had informed coach Mafu of all these.
“As I stand and wait defenceless, my respect for Mr Nkape remains solid and I thank him for the chance he afforded me to coach this great bunch of players,” he however highlighted. In conclusion, he said, “I reiterate that I did nothing and I stand to be dismissed a free soul and am proud of the contribution I did to this team thus far.”
Botswana Football Association (BFA) is running without a substantive Technical Director since parting ways with South African native, Serame Letsoaka, who jumped ship midway through his contract in 2019.
This glaring revelation has left the Technical Department of the association hamstrung to fully operate by the book hence a plethora of problems protruding on the very nose of it.
This is the reason it took long for the association to take stern action against Zebras gaffer, Adel Amrouche. His departure was sanctioned at the eleventh hour when players’ patience had long wilted, threatening to leave the camp.
Pundits will therefore observe that it is the absence of a Technical Director that has caused all hell to break loose at Lekidi Football Centre.Since the departure of Letsoaka, the TD position has been more or less vacant as it has been manned by unqualified and somewhat incompetent administrators to date.
The TD position requires a CAF A-License qualification as well as a Diploma in Secondary Education as minimum qualifications. Among the specific duties of TD is; training and development of coaches, including design and updating of coaches manuals, facilitating licensing courses, developing a coaches Code of Conduct, arranging for expert and specialist coaches to deliver training clinics, education on rules of the game and creating and maintaining a library of resources including books, videos and articles for coaches to access.
The responsibility also include establishing and delivering a comprehensive and nationwide Grassroots programme at both the community level, in schools, and in the schools through clubs through strategic partnerships within the communities and with various government ministries and agencies.
TD also advices BFA on all matters related to the effective development of football in Botswana and is accountable for the development of a strategy and policy for the performance of football programmes.
Other duties include working with Youth National teams and coaches through development programmes in order to enable BFA to attain its goals within CAF and FIFA, including putting in place clear systems and processes for identifying and developing talented players.
After Letsoaka left, BFA reached out to Wire Kaelo, a Gaborone United legend currently holding the position of assistant coach at Security System FC, but eventually he was not appointed to the post.
Despite rumours to the effect that BFA had agreed terms with Kaelo to this day, the Association has not come out as to what happened to the alleged marriage.
BFA subsequently appointed one Dr Carolin Braun, on secondment from the German Olympic organisation, a move that left the association rooted in abrasive factionalism.
In particular, local coaches and the general football fanatics have always cried foul claiming that Dr Braun is not fit to hold the position of TD especially in a growing football environment like Botswana.
There is growing concern that Dr Braun does not have the pre-requisite credentials to be appointed for this plum post as she has never held any significant position within the football fraternity, not even at amateur level.
“It was a first in the history of Botswana football to see a TD doubling up as assistant coach to the senior national team and there has been no tangible coaching courses since the departure of Serame Letsoaka and this has been attributable to the vacant position of TD,” a source remarked.
BFA is currently failing to communicate CAF’s decision that the ill-fated CAF “B” and “C” courses held during Serame’s last days were not sanctioned and therefore attendants will not be certificated.
Over 50 local coaches participated in the courses and last year, most of those coaching in the Premier League had to be given waivers by the BFA Technical Committee before they could be accredited.
CAF has since indicated that the issue of waivers by national associations will not be entertained, something which might throw local games into disarray.BFA is still failing to come up with a coaching philosophy despite Serame having started groundwork before his departure.
Other countries such as Zambia have since resumed CAF coaching courses whilst in Botswana is still business as usual despite the impending challenges caused by indiscretion and lack of foresight.
Despite BFA having advertised the position of TD and subsequently holding interviews where recommendations were done by the Technical and Development Committee, the BFA NEC has refused to endorse the recommendation for reasons only best known to them.
Yet, there is a lingering fact that the NEC is clueless when it comes to technical matters. There is not even a single individual in the NEC who holds any coaching qualification including the Chairman of the member responsible for technical and development matters, Masego Ntshingane.
When asked about the position of the TD, Ntshingane said the association is well aware of the matter and will son fill the post. “Yes, it is true the association has not appointed a TD after Letsoaka’s departure, but we are working around the clock to hire capable people,” he said.
However, local coaches believe that it’s a travesty of justice to expect non-technical people to make meaningful contributions on technical matters to the extent that they can veto recommendations from a committee of renowned technical experts.
It is not business as usual in the operations manual of African football. Ever since the ascendency of Dr. Patrice Motsepe to the CAF plum post, the African football governing body is ringing changes to satisfy the demands and governance standards of the modern game.
However, it appears that what is coming out from the high offices of the game is a bitter pill to swallow for local clubs, some of which are touted to be the best in the land.
Connectedly, CAF has issued a circular to the effect that only coaches holding the CAF “A” education license will be permitted to sit on the technical dugout during the upcoming inter club competitions. This communication has been sent to all 54 CAF member associations in May 2021.
However, it seems local clubs have not been appraised on this development even though both Jwaneng Galaxy and Orapa United have shown desire to represent the country in the CAF competitions.
It comes to the fore now that the two clubs can successfully represent the country if they engage coaches with the pre-requisite qualifications which is now an insurmountable task due to the COVID-19 impact on club finances.
Both clubs have hired coaches who attended the ill-fated BFA conducted CAF “B” and “A” coaching courses which were held in Lobatse almost two years ago.
To date the coaches await the completion of the courses and certificates while CAF has made it clear that the courses were not sanctioned as they were held during the era that coaching licenses were suspended, a situation that BFA was well aware of and has since accepted the consequences.
The BFA is still at sixes and sevens on how to break the issue to the affected coaches as it is likely to cause a huge public embarrassment and backlash from the coaching fraternity.
“We all know about the problem, BFA is promising to come to the bottom of the matter as we continue to engage them,” says Botswana Football Coaches Association (BFCA) interim President, Daniel Nare.
CAF has also made it clear that this time there will be no waiver for coaches without the pre-requisite qualification because the Confederation has been too lenient in the past. During the last CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup, both Galaxy and Orapa United coaches were given a reprieve by CAF Technical Department as they did not even have the CAF “B” license.
When approached for clarity, the Spokesperson for Galaxy, Tankiso Morake said they are playing a waiting game when it comes to CAF issues especially that BFA is yet to reply to their letter. “Honestly, there is nothing concrete I can share because no one is certain about anything. We are waiting to be replied by the association so that we can finalize everything,” he said.
While United was not available for comment, it is clear that both clubs will need to hire coaches with the needed qualifications otherwise playing in this year’s edition of African football mirrors a tomorrow that may never come.
A recent study shows that Township Rollers is not only popular within the perimeters of Botswana, but has also made significant steps within the digital football platforms in Africa.
Out of the 70 African football clubs ranked on the African football digital benchmark, Township Rollers comes on the 35th position backed by a massive social media following. The club website records more than 399 000 followers and is seen as the most interactive in the local game.
This is consistent with the recent study conducted by FIFA- world football governing body- that Rollers is the only team locally that makes use of its digital platforms.
Notably, it comes out that the gap between Township Rollers and the rest of the 15 Premier League clubs is abysmal, this therefore works against creating a strong BPL brand value.
Rollers is the only club with more than 50 000 followers on Facebook, more than 20 000 followers on Twitter while its Instagram platform stands strong at 27 800 followers.
However, it is found out that much of the BPL brand value is killed by some social Facebook football fan accounts. They have stood long and have thus attracted more followers than the official accounts. Pages like Killers Pass and Botswana Football have consequently seen more than 100 000 following. Both of the accounts give 24 hour on-going updates of football’s latest news, transfers, results, video and live updates.
FIFA has therefore come to a conclusion that the two social media pages have grown interactive since they incite followers to answer and present their impressions about local football.
It comes into the open that 70 percent of domestic premier league clubs do not have official websites. This according to FIFA, kills the brand and visibility of clubs hence failure to attract lucrative sponsors by the clubs. FIFA also found out that the remaining 30 percent of clubs with websites are lacklustre and found wanting when it comes to their online presence. But in this regard, Rollers is on pole position.