Thursday, March 4, 2021

BFA criticised for Zebras game against South Sudan

Botswana’s senior national team, Zebras will in about three weeks play the new boys of football, South Sudan at the National Stadium in Gaborone.

It will be the first time Botswana plays the war troubled country since its formation in 2011.

It will also be the first game in charge for the newly appointed coach, James Butler and it remains to be seen how he is going to build his own team.

He has since made it clear that he is going to play a more attacking and interesting brand of football rather than packing the bus, the style that was popular with Butler’s predecessor, Stanley Tshosane.

Butler, a Briton, was appointed Zebras coach just last week and has a mammoth task ahead of him.

He has played for some renowned English Premier League teams in England but it is his coaching credentials that are still having many people asking themselves so many questions about.

He has had spells in countries like Singapore and Malaysia but he is yet to be tested on bigger stages of African football. Already Butler’s predecessor, Tshosane has for the first time taken Botswana to 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and this means Butler has big shoes to fill if he is to win the hearts of Batswana.

Meanwhile some soccer experts have since critisised Botswana Football Association’s decision to play South Sudan, which is one of the lowly ranked African countries.

They believe that Botswana should challenge stronger opponents if indeed they want to be among the best in Africa.

One local coach who preferred anonymity told The Telegraph Sports that there are so many countries across Africa continent far better than South Sudan and would have loved to play Botswana.

“Botswana has improved over the years and we should keep on moving forward. Many countries nowadays are eager to play against Botswana and I am not seeing a reason to play South Sudan. What really are we going to benefit from a country that has just been formed with no tried and tested players? We are really not serious and the next thing when the results do not come we point the fingers at the coach,” he said.

Another coach who also did not want to be named, said that strong opponents are the key to take Botswana football forward.

“The new coach might not have strong credentials in coaching national teams, but he looks like a man who is hungry for success and willing to deliver results. He wants to implement things that were not there before and it can take us somewhere provided strong opponents are identified for him. For instance he want to blend more young players with experienced ones, something that was not there before,” he said.

Efforts to contact the BFA on why they chose South Sudan were futile at the time of going to press.

South Sudan was formed in July 2011 and played its first international match in July 2012 against Uganda, with the teams played to a two-all draw.

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