The unceremonious dismissal of senior national team Assistant Coach Pio Paulthis week has exposed the BFA’s double standards on issues of conduct. It is public knowledge that Peter Butler has furiously attacked BFA over a number of issues he was unhappy with but has escaped unhurt, if anything his concerns were swiftly attended to.
It became crystal clear this week that Butler is the association’s blue eyed boy after BFA gave him the go ahead to use Under-23 players in the ongoing COSAFA Cup, an inferior tournament when compared to the Olympic Qualifiers that Paul was tasked with at Under 23. Paul desperately needed the eight players for yesterday’s (Friday) All Africa Games and Olympic qualifier encounter against Zambia.
Paul who has been impressive since taking over the reign as the Under-23 mentor had registered his complaint with the association regarding the inclusion of Under-23 players to the senior national team, but his plea fell on deaf ears as Butler got his way, with the backing of BFA president Tebogo Sebego.
The 42 year-old former Township Rollers forward Paul, was shown the door on Wednesday, after expressing his displeasure over the selection of players to the national team at the expense of the Under-23 team. The BFA president stated in a statement that the decision was reached based “purely in the interest of protecting the integrity and image of the association.’’
What is startling however is the fact that the senior national team coach Butler is known for his public ranting through his twitter page. Buttler has taken to social media many of his past disgruntlements with the association but the association has never summoned him for a disciplinary hearing, while Paul was given a boot on his first ‘offence’, for committing a similar crime.
President of the association Tebogo Sebego has been accused of fuelling discrimination at Lekidi. Paul’s downfall follows his siding with the Briton mentor. Before making the public remarks, Paul alerted Sebego of the impasse over the players selection, but Sebego issued an instruction which gave Butler lee way to take all the players he needed at the expense of the under 23 team. One of Butler’s deliverables include at least reaching the semi-finals of COSAFA cup.
Paul’s remarks that led to his sacking include expression he made on BTV on Tuesday and on Duma FM on the following day that “people are un-tuning my team ahead of important games after I tuned it.’’
The players who were at the centre of contention are Omaatla Kebaatho, Kabelo Seakanyeng, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Mpho Kgaswane, Lebogang Ditsele, Tapiwa Gadibolae, Onkabetse Makgantai as well as the defender Kaone Van Der Westhuizen. All players have all travelled with the senior team for the COSAFA tournament in South-Africa.
The former BMC coach, Paul, decried that losing the players for a friendly game was unfair since it was at the expense of an important fixture like the All Africa Games qualifiers which is a conduit for qualification of Olympic Games.
Paul’s dismissal comes at a time when he was preparing for a crucial encounter against Zambia for the All Africa Games qualification to be held in Senegal next year. The Olympics will be hosted in Rio the same year. In the absence of the eight players it has been projected that it is end of the road for the promising team.
The Under 23 team started their campaign with Kenya, in which all the eight players featured. Kebaatho, the Sankoyo Bush Bucks goals poacher scored the three of the four goals in an encounter played over two legs.
There is contention from football pundits on whether he desperately needed all the eight players that he snatched from under-23 as some are likely to warm the bench the entire tournament. “The timing for the dismissal was wrong because it was just two days before a match, and it’s even unlikely that all 8 players will all play tomorrow (Sunday),” said Leatile Mmutle, a Duma FM football host.
The dismal of Paul means the association’s grand-plan to ensure cohesion by automatically appointing the under 23 coach assistant of the senior team, has died prematurely. This now leaves Coach Butler also in jeopardy over his mandate that includes reaching COSAFA semi-finals, qualifying for Chan as well as doing well in the 2017 AFCON qualifiers.
Tshosane rejects Butler’s call With the Briton coach under immense pressure to prove himself to his bosses at Lekidi, WeekendSport has uncovered that Butler made desperate attempts to engage former national team coach Stanley Tshosane.
Informants have revealed to this paper that Butler has recently sought advice from the now Mogoditshane Fighters coach on how the team can reach maximum performance. However it is understood that Tshosane has rejected Butler on the account that he should have engaged him earlier following his appointment as the new national team coach.
The qualifying rounds of the next edition of 2022 Africa Cup of Nations are nearing resumption. But it looks more and stiffer for Adel Amorouche and the Zebras to maneuver the qualifying terrain in March.
So many hurdles lie ahead as the Zebras desperately need to gallop and cross the line. Having drawn tougher opponents that include African champions Algeria and South African perennial campaigners Zimbabwe and Zambia, the contrast with these nations’ squad buoyancy could not be starker.
But what is even more complicated from the Zebras camp is the amount of hostility the coach is forced to face just few days after calling his supposedly troops into camp.
The Algerian gaffer — who is tasked with guiding the squad to the finals of the prestigious tournament for the first time after 9 years — is reportedly facing fresh accusation bordering on favouritism, abuse and sabotage.
This week alone about four players left the camp on different occasions but with similar reasons; that the coach is verbally abusing them.
Amorouche, a well-known strict disciplinarian, is also accused of side-lining players who refuse to agree to his secretly established love of selling national team players to oversee countries.
It has become public knowledge that Amrouche has sold Kabelo Seakanyeng and two former Township Rollers players, Simisane Mathumo and Tumisang Orebonye to a Morocco based club.
It is said on Monday of this week, he attempted to negotiate terms with defender Lesenya Ramoraka for a deal to be established. Those close to the developments state that the former Highlands Park player refused altogether to heed to Amoruche’s call, something that compelled the coach to chase away the player under the pretext that he is injured.
It turns out that indeed Ramoraka is still battling with a recurring knee injury he sustained while at Highlands Park but sources disclose that Amrouche forced matters for Ramoraka to come to camp. Was Amrouche compromised? The question brings multifarious answers.
“The player was called with full knowledge that he is carrying an injury, but it raises eyebrows in the manner he was chased. I mean there is no assessment of his injury, there is no report whatsoever,” a source shared.
It does not end here. Gaborone United player Tshepo Maikano also stormed out of the camp after enduring a tongue lash from his boss. It is said the player did not take it kindly and so was another GU player, Mothusi Thupa.
GU has since written a letter to the association seeking clarity about the development.When asked for comment, national team manager Monnakgotla Mojaki refused to answer to questions from this publication and said the coach himself is better placed to respond.
In 2019, Amrouche took what was an infamous decision to suspended four players from Zebras camp. At the time, the coach argued that the quartet of Mothusi Cooper, Thero Setsile, Onkabetse Makgantai and Mothusi Johnson failed to show seniority and professionalism. But he has since pardoned them.
Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB) says it is familiarising itself with full details of the issue. Kgosana Masaseng, the Secretary General of the Union said if it really true, then the coach has to man up or face the sack.
“We also hear that as grapevine but we are monitoring the situation. Should this come out as the truth, we call the coach to resign and go home than start abusing players in the name of discipline,” Masaseng said.
Zebras will face The Warriors of Zimbabwe in March but there is strong argument in the ground that Amrouche has already scored an own goal.On the other hand, stories of a disjointed association and less competitive league do point rather wearily to the basic obstacle on Botswana’s own path that for so many years of separation of ownership and club control, with many investors coming to the game and now the Premier League edging Botswana national team’s concerns to the fringes.
Against Zambia last year, Amrouche intended on bringing psychology and massive training to the game, but it also seems that, as much as he want to copy the style of other countries, basic skill is still a needed requirement. To date, Zebras game is based around a diligent, muscular defense and a fast-breaking, penetrative attack by opponents.
Amrouche now know a 2022 failure will not be accepted when the campaign takes another twist. It is safe to forget about Zambia, but as for Botswana, patience is fast running thin.
The Botswana Football Association Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thabiso Kebotsamang has denied claims that there is racism at the ongoing Zebras camp.
Zebras’ players reported for camp last week to prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier clash with Zimbabwe to be played next month in Francistown.
Botswana is third on the Group H with a point behind Zimbabwe and a win for the Zebras will see them leapfrog Zimbabwe to be second on the log before heading to the already qualified Algeria.
The camp has however been surrounded with controversy after some players were said to have been kicked out of camp.
“We have seen the reports on social media but I can confirm that there is no racism in our camp and we as an association will do not tolerate that and what I have been told is that players were assessed and as the norm some will be dropped due to injuries and various reasons,” said Kebotsamang, who ascended to the hot seat after the association parted ways with Mfolo Mfolo last year.
According to sources within the Zebras camp some players, Tshepo Maikano and Lesenya Ramoraka are said to have left the camp as they felt the coach gave them a strong lashing.
“Tshepo Maikano did not appreciate the way coach Adel criticised him for one of the goals scored by Zambia in the first leg fixture. We were doing drills, and time again he reminded Maikano how he failed the team to defend that moment,” said a source.
“Maikano felt hard done as the coach repeated the same thing over and over again even though he saw that the player felt bad about it.
“As for Ramoraka he came with an injury and he could not continue as he wants to fully recover unlike Thatayaone Dithokwe who sacrificed himself for the nation it’s just that he opts to be fully fit before coming back to play.”
The source revealed further that coach Ambrouche is a very demanding coach and wants players to deliver at all times and sometimes players may take his message wrongly.
“I think he should balance being hard and sometimes be soft so we as players can relate to him openly because now players are a bit scared of him,” continued the source.
When contacted for comment Gaborone United Director Nicholas Zackhem said they are yet to meet with the player and get the story first hand from him.
Meanwhile Orapa United mouth piece Kabo William said they were surprised to learn of their player’s return from Zebras camp on social media, indicating that they should have been informed by the association once the player was released or when the association found out he is missing in camp to avoid conflicts between club and country in future.
The Zebras camp will continue next month, with foreign based players expected to join local ones as the nation looks to qualify for their second Africa Cup of Nations.
Negotiations between Lobatse based outfit Extension Gunners and transport logistic company DC Tours have collapsed frantically with the latter growing ever more frustrated and withdrew their touted P 2million investment amid fears that the club is unstable and not ready for change.
The company walked away after one single meeting with Gunners management before it was pushed away, reports claim.
DC Tours are said have grown annoyed by the manner in which Gunners management arranged and held the discussions.
The club is said to have sent their player Dirang Moloi to represent them, something that did not go well with the company high ranking authority.
Moloi is a player but also an upcoming business man who happened to be the provider of the club’s merchandise last season but sources inside Gunners management felt that, in Moloi, the club failed to calculate the amount of serious coming from DC Tours corner.
DC Tours was said to be star struck by Gunners as one of the most supported brand, but their approach to serious matters has left the travel and transport logistic company with no choice.
It was reported that DC Tours was at an advanced stage to inject start-up capital and acquire 80% of shares but their bid was heavily reliant on the Gunners management decision.
The first stage of agreement was deliberated and decided in principle over the cause of last year, although details remain sketchy even to this date. The deal was supposed to follow many years of casting empty promises by the club previous committees to bring on board a trusted investor and traverse the commercialisation route.
Although sources say it is against the club’s constitution to run Extension Gunners that is operating as a society thorough contract management deal, any other worries and loopholes were to be dispelled to leverage a spade work on amendment of the constitution.
It was to be agreed that the club‘s account was to remain operational while DC Tours was to be in charge of finances and set to give Gunners society at least one third of the investments at the end of every football season.
The deal was to be concluded before the commencement of the new season and a space was left out for other companies who may want to partner with the Peleng outfit to come on board, sources claim. Late last year, it was also rumoured that the club was negotiating with former CMB Chairman, Okaile Rapula, but that never proved to be true.
Extension Gunners finished last season in a very uncompromising situation. The club has never known peace since winning the then Coca Cola cup in 1992. After one Tariq Babitseng was voted as club Chairman, the club battled identity crisis as the committee split and factionalism took centre stage.
However, Gunners management refused to share details about the DC Tours partnership.