Exposed: Butler’s contract
Botswana national team coach Peter James Butler is under intense inspection as he begins to drill the ailing Zebras to AFCON 2017 finals. The national team coach is approaching the second phase of his contract with BFA and is believed to be failing to execute some of his duties at Lekidi football centre.
WeekendSport has learnt that Butler is already on a sticky wicket with the association. Of the 11 duties and deliverables expected of him, the Briton has to date fulfilled at least 3 of them. Reports suggest that the successor of Stanley Tshosane is yet to adhere to duty number 2 wherein he is expected to develop and implement an annual training and match programme of activities for the team. The programme was to be developed with the technical director and presented to the national executive committee for approval.
The Briton who prides himself in playing young talent has failed to produce a comprehensive report that was primarily meant to inform the technical department and the national executive committee about the progress of the team. Furthermore, he has failed to consult with the technical director in regard to the technical needs of the team and the players.
Although there are visible signs on the pitch, Butler is on the spotlight for failing to develop a comprehensive policy which will ensure adequate progression of young players into the senior national team. However, his sympathizers believe the former West ham united player is trying in this duty.
Other duties he is said to have failed include not providing, in conjunction with technical director advice to the national executive committee on matters of a technical nature and the general development of the game and the team in particular.
It would seem there is working relationship between the coach and BFA technical director Benny Kgomela as a robust coaching structure has not been created.
Butler’s inability to work closely with the CEO to develop a strong infrastructure for the development of youth football is also under scrutiny. The head coach and former CEO Keith Masters reportedly had a fall out, leading to no working relations between the two Britons.
Peter Butler signed a three year contract with the association on the 10th of February 2014. Remarkably the less experienced coach beat Uganda coach Milutin ‘ Micho’ Sredojevic for the BFA head coach post to earn a salary of P91 000 paid monthly in arrears. He is provided with a monthly allowance of P 1000 airtime and was given a vehicle fuelled every week by the association.
Moreover, Butler was promised P25 000 bonus should he win the 2015 COSAFA cup. A P20 000 bonus was also promised him in the event that he won the 2014 final of COSAFA, but due to lack of sponsors, the cup was not played. Over and above that, he was promised a P5000 bonus for every win in official competitive games and P2 500 for draws.
At the time of going to press, Butler was reportedly away on leave and his phone was not going through. His assistant Pio Paul told WeekendSport that “Butler is on the right track and should be given a chance”.
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AFRICAâ€™S RECOVERY: Sports as game changer
The year 2022 witnessed unprecedented phenomena. Several Africans- Gotytom Gebreslase, Sharon Lokedi, Victor Kiplangat, Tamarit Tola and many others- swept the Worldâ€™s marathons records.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting control measures implemented in several countries, led to many high-level sports competitions being cancelled or shelved, the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games was moved to 2026.
Founder and Executive Chairman, African Sports and Creative Institute, Will Mabiakop, says the inability to hold traditional and amateur sports events have had a serious effect on public health overall, including mental health, sparking a revolution whereby athletes began to talk more openly about stress, mental overload and performance anxiety.
â€śAfrica is home to the fastest growing economies before the crisis, no longer on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). COVID-19 deepened interdependence between SDGs, making them harder to achieve, especially SDG 10 (reducing inequality) and SDG 5 (gender equality_ as the pandemic had a disproportionate impact on poorer countries, and heavier burdens (such as care work) fell to women.â€ť
Mabiakop stresses that as policymakers contemplate actions to speed up recovery and build resilience, they must argue that sports and creative businesses should play a central feature in this effort.
â€śThe sports economy worldwide is estimated at 5% of GDP, but only 0.5% in Africa. If exploited, Africaâ€™s sports and creative industries can offer policymakers innovative solutions. Especially, as regards job creation, and providing employment to the 15 million people entering the job market annually.â€ť
HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY DO THIS?
By leveraging the two-for-one concept: past studies shown that a 1% growth in the economy delivers a 2% job increment in this sector (these ratios are calculated using data from 48 African countries and adjusted to the reality of the sports economy in Africa by the authors). There are between 30 and 50 job types, in sports and creative industries, respectively. These jobs do not fade away with the first major shock.
Mabiakop indicated that policymakers can use these industries to tackle multiple crises- jobs, poverty, and climate risks. Sports diplomacy- defined as communication, representation and negotiation in or through the prism of sports- has proven effective in building inclusive and cohesive societies. Moreover, sports and the creative industry can support better mental health and well-being, both important for productivity.
â€śPolicymakers can also be true to the game by leveraging culture and tradition to celebrate identity and reap commercial value in sports, textiles and jewelry. Creative sectors allow deeper connection with culture, are not easily copied and provide great economic potential.â€ť
He said supporting grassroots sports has powerful distributional effects. â€śFortunately, technology has made reaching wide audiences easier, generating higher rates of success when talent is discovered.â€ť
However, Mabiakop held that potential pitfalls must be highlighted. â€śFirst avoid build it and they will come policies with infrastructures denuded from the rest of the ecosystem. Like the many sports stadiums left largely unused.â€ť
â€śPolicymakers must remain mindful of how these sectors move the needle in human capital development. Also, align the requisite public policies needed for progress from grassroots participation to professional sports, and even to international sporting events. They should also support investment instruments to render these sectors performant.â€ť