Postnet Kgale View, Private Bag 351, Suite 287
T (+267) 31 88 784
F (+267) 31 88 798
Gaborone International Commerce Park
Plot 104, Moores Rowland, Unit 21
BY GODFREY MOWANENG
The alleged roping in of Gaborone United goalkeeper coach Khalid Niyonzima at the recent Zebras camp ahead of the 2022 World cup qualifier match against Malawi has shaken the senior national technical team.
The Sunday Standard has established that the Burundian goalkeeper gaffer travelled in the team bus to the stadium allegedly accompanying newly appointed Zebras gaffer Adel Amrouche.
Niyonzima’s presence is said to have brewed tension in the Zebras technical team with some technical members questioning his duties and notable presence in camp.
Since Amrouche’s arrival in the country, the Burundian and Amrouche have been flirting and were spotted together during the coach’s announcement at the local football village, the Lekidi Football Centre.
‘’Niyonzima has been in and around the national team camp and mostly accompanying the recently appointed national team coach. He was with the team in Francistown and it looked like he was brought on board by Amrouche. He however did not travel with the team to Malawi for the return encounter but captured some footage of the first leg match in Francistown,’’ a source revealed to Sunday Standard.
Speaking to The Sunday Standard, Niyonzima confirmed that he indeed travelled with the team for their first leg encounter on a voluntary basis. He said he was assisting the coach as there are a few communication boundaries as the coach is mostly fluent in French than English.
“I was just acting as a personal assistant for Amrouche voluntarily. I am not hired by the Botswana Football Association (BFA) but just offering the coach assistance due to some language barriers and the local football association was aware of the matter,” Niyonzima said..
Throughout Amrouche’s coaching career, the gaffer has been roped in mostly French speaking nations in the likes of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea.
With his chequered career, Amrouche coached Burundi national team for five years and DR Congo side Motema Pembe for three and the Equatorial Guinea national team.
For his part, BFA chief executive officer (CEO) Mfolo Mfolo said they were aware of Niyonzima’s presence in camp and on voluntary basis.
“Amrouche has been in the Burundian football system for long and it should be understood that Niyonzima is from Burundi and they have a better understanding,” Mfolo explained.
“The coach had asked for the goalkeeper coach to capture training session’s footage for analysis only. He is not in the BFA system and we are not aware of any misunderstandings in camp due to his presence as he is not making any decisions concerning technical factors,” Mfolo told The Sunday Standard.