Friday, September 24, 2021

Another shocker at BFA as Nkutlwisang is demoted

Botswana Football Association (BFA) once again delivered another shocker on Wednesday morning when they announced that the national women’s team coach, Gaolethoo ‘Ronaldo’ Nkutlwisang has been demoted with Sepheko Motlhagodi taking over the reins. The decision by BFA has once again raised eyebrows with some people accusing the mother-body of undermining the role of women in sport.
Nkutlwisang will understudy Motlhagodi in the return leg of the Olympic qualifiers against Kenya in Nairobi this afternoon. When BFA technical director Benny Kgomela delivered the news to the media at Lekidi Football Centre, Nkutlwisang was sitting haplessly at the top table. But it was clear that she was a dejected and an unhappy soul. Obviously, Nkutlwisang could not openly share her feelings as her hands are tied following the recent decision to send the national Under-23 coach Keitumetse ‘Pio’ Paul packing for sharing his views with the media. At the time, BFA accused Paul of uttering statements which undermined the association. With Nkutlwisang having been in charge of the women’s squad for quite some time, some commentators said the decision by BFA has shown that they undermine women’s knowledge in the game.
International Working Group on Women and Sport secretary general Game Mothibi said that the decision by BFA executive has shocked her organisation. “We’re trying to encourage women empowerment in sport across the globe and such an empty decision takes us a step backwards. She (Nkutlwisang) has been there with the team through thick and thin but when the team has improved tremendously now there is a talk that an experienced coach is needed. This is not right at all and I feel there is need for us to engage BFA to understand why they reached such a decision,” said a disappointed Mothibi.
According to Mothibi, Nkutlwisang needed to be given full support just like what the senior men’s team is currently receiving. When approached for comment, she said she was still trying to understand the logic behind Nkutlwisang’s demotion. “As an organisation, there is need for BFA to give balance to all the teams within their structure. After hearing of the reports yesterday (Wednesday), I immediately sent an email to WASBO so that I can hear their stand on the issue because this is a local matter,” she said.
When contacted for comment, BFA technical director Benny Kgomela was shocked that people were making an issue out of the changes at the women’s team. He said that the association has given Nkutlwisang a chance to prove her credentials but they believe there was a need to bring someone to mentor her. “People need to understand that we are not saying she has failed. Looking at the stage we’re in the qualifiers there is a need to upgrade our technical team. She is going to continue to learn from Motlhagodi because this is not the first time they’ve worked together,” Kgomela continued.

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