It was a campaign that seemed destined for failure from the onset.
Ahead of the Zebras penultimate game with Zimbabwe, the national team had been chaotic.
Not least because the Zebras went into the match without having played any competitive match. Or that most of the local contingent in the national team setup had not kicked a ball in anger in more than a year.
From the moment the Zebras Afcon campaign started, there has been chaos at every corner for the national team.
Several of the chaos emanated from clashes between the headstrong coach Adel Amrouche and the Botswana Football Association (BFA) secretariat staff.
With no chief executive officer (CEO) to give the rudderless Lekidi boat some direction and the National Executive Committee (NEC) trying to guide everything by remote control, nothing has worked.
According to sources, ahead of the 0 – 1 loss to Zimbabwe’s Warriors that killed the Zebras’ dreams of qualifying for the Afcon finals, chaos abounded within the Zebras camp.
The signs that all was not well started during the first camp when the Zebras camp was invaded by the local National Antidoping Organisation (NADO).
In the aftermath of the visit by NADO, a worried Amrouche, with names in hand, allegedly reached out to the BFA 1st Vice President Pelotshweu Motlogelwa for mediation.
Whereas the vice president allegedly believed he had reconciled the coach and the BFA secretariat staff, it seems tensions continued to build.
However, ahead of the crucial game against Zimbabwe, the same ugly differences reared their head again.
Following some differences, the team is said to have left for the crucial encounter with Zimbabwe without team manager Harry Koata.
In Francistown, BFA manager of national teams Monnakgotla Mojaki was allegedly forced to stay in a separate hotel from that of the national team as per the coach’s demands.
As if that was not enough, the Zebras’ camp allegedly stood up the medical committee sent to oversee the team’s COVID-19 tests.
“The committee had to wait a very long time to test the team as no one in the Zebras camp came out to meet them despite having been told the team will come to do the COVID-19 tests,” a source says.
“All these factors explain why the team failed to provide Mogakolodi Ngele’s Electrocardiogram (ECG) test results as per the requisite by CAF for a player who had previously tested positive for COVID-19,” another source explains.
“It would have been the team manager and the BFA Manager of National teams’ duties to see to it that everyone is compliant. But with the two far from the camp, there was no one to see to it that there is compliance,” the source adds.
With the Zebras race to Afcon ended and so many egos at war within Lekidi, many say it is time for the BFA to press reset and try to regroup.
Commenting on the matter, a source within Lekidi said the BFA is pinning its hopes on whoever will be the incoming CEO to give the association guidance.
“There is a semblance of chaos within BFA because it does not have a substantive CEO. Once one is in place, we expect things to go back to normal,” the source says.
the source says in the absence of the CEO, everyone within the BFA Secretariat is seemingly doing as he or she pleases, something which at times forces National Executive Committee to actively try and get things under control.
Speaking in an interview, sports journalist and radio anchor Kagiso Phatsimo said if everything coming out of Francistown is true, it is emblematic of the chaos at the BFA.
“For now, I believe the BFA will do away with the coach. Given the huge salary he receives, it will be foolhardy to keep him and hope he produces a miracle while the conditions are not conducive for him to produce desired results,” he says.
According to Phatsimo, once the coach is gone, the BFA will then have to place a local coach in charge of the national team while putting its house in order.
He says the association needs to look into all that is currently happening within Lekidi and clean accordingly.
“Even if they can bring a CEO, if the status quo remains as is, the CEO will fail. BFA has to reduce politicians within its secretariat. That is only when whoever is appointed CEO can succeed,” he opines.
Phatsimo says given the calibre of the CEOs who have passed through the revolving doors at Lekidi, it is evident that there is something fundamentally wrong with the setup of the institution.
“None of the CEOs finishes their tenures in office. That is evidence enough that unless something is corrected, no CEO will be able to normalise things there,” he concludes.