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Chiefs, Butler war rages on


It will be a long time before the Mochudi Centre Chiefs football club and national team coach Peter James Butler smoke the peace pipe. Efforts to mend the two parties’ broken relationship continue to hit the brick wall as they carry on sabotaging each other, but at the expense of national duty.


The conflict between the two emanated from the utterances by the Briton earlier this year when he remarked that Township Rollers’ Segolame “Smah’ Boy was the deserving player of the season, and not Chiefs midfielder Lesego “Lesh” Galenamotlhale. The remarks did not go down well with Chiefs officials who in protest decided not to release any of their players to the national team camp since it was clear that Butler had undermined their team.


Chiefs, to date vow not to release any of their players for national duty as they hold that the 46 year old Butler has never called any of their players to camp, even if they performed exceptionally. Chiefs’ management understood that by his action, and snubbing their players, the coach had something against the defending champions.


The Botswana Football Association, upon noticing the stand-off, devised a strategy to mediate the two parties in a closed door meeting. However, the meeting has since proved futile as the two sides are still fighting bitterly with egos at the thick of things.

WeekendSport has it on good authority that the two parties met sometime last month where they engaged each other verbally but no formal writing was done as a way to forgive and forget. However, Chiefs’ officials have made it clear that they want a formal written apology from either Butler or his employers, BFA if they are to bury the hatchet.


According to one of the Chiefs representatives at the meeting, Clifford Mogomotsi they have informed the board members of their team about the outcomes of the meeting. “We managed to meet and we have brought the upshot of the meeting before our board and they are still evaluating it,” the Chiefs PRO said.

“For now we won’t release any of our players for the national team because like I said, the board is still deliberating on the outcomes of the meeting so we are only awaiting their appraisal.”


With the Butler-Chiefs debacle playing on, some maybe compelled to wonder if Lemponye “FC” Tshireletso was really injured when he was called to the camp or it was just a gimmick from Chiefs pending their resolution. Mogomotsi declined to comment on the issue. BFA CEO Kitso Kemoen said, “as far as I know the issue has been put to bed as the coach called three players unfortunately they were injured so I am not aware of any issue of sabotage from any party.”

The three players that were called to the camp were Galenamotlhale, Tshireletso as well as the striker Kekaetswe “Mara” Moloi.


Football lovers have derived from the Galabgwe Moyana situation that Butler might have had scores to settle with Chiefs. Moyana, who now plays for Township Rollers, was called to camp after playing for less than 270 minutes at his new home. While at Centre Chiefs last season, Butler overlooked him despite the left-footed winger enjoying regular game time.


“This is not the right thing; firstly it divides the nation, denies the players opportunity to play for the national team and puts the current team under pressure as the players don’t know what the coach might say about them in the future. So the situation must be rectified,” advised RB1 sports presenter Tiro “The Legend” Lepotokisi. “We need experienced players like Tshireletso and Moloi who have been with the Under 23 squad, so both parties must dialogue for the better of our country.”


Another sports journalist Thabo “The brand” Osekeng said “Chiefs is right to demand an apology and they should defend their players. Both parties should swallow their pride because the nation is at stake.”

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