Botswana Football Association chief executive officer (BFA CEO) Mfolo Mfolo is denying allegations that the association intends to part ways with senior women national football team coach Gaoletlhoo Nkutlwisang.
The allegations, which have persisted for some time during Nkutlwisang’s tenure gained fresh ground this past week following her absence from the senior national team four-day selection camp last week.
Mfolo says the coach’s absence was solely due to work commitments and should not be misconstrued for a dismissal. The BFA CEO says due to the coach’s absence, the four-day selection camp was led by the BFA technical director Tshepo Mphukuthi.
On whether or not it was normal for a team selection to go ahead without the presence of the coach, Mfolo answered on the negative. He went on to add that all junior teams and the women senior team are under the portfolio of the BFA technical director.
“The selection can be done by the TD because the Mares team is under his mandate,” he says. The BFA CEO says the just ended selection was geared towards refreshing the team as the association wants to send a youthful team to the upcoming COSAFA tournament.
He says this is part of the association’s plan to start building for the future. As for whether Nkutlwisang will be at the helm for the upcoming COSAFA tournament’ Mfolo had this to say: “Yes she will be available and we are not saying anything to the contrary. She is the substantive coach and we expect her to be available.”
The BFA CEO is adamant that the coach will still be with the association and cast aside as just rumours the allegations that the BFA is planning to part ways with the Mares coach.
Since taking over as a coach, Nkutlwisang has overseen a gradual rise in the fortunes of the women’s senior football national team. The apex of her tenure came this past month as she led the Mares on their first appearance at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals (WAFCON).
During the tournament, the Mares gave a good account of themselves as they reached the quarter finals. The team’s admirable performance has since garnered adulation both here at home and abroad. As a result, Nkutlwisang was among the nominees for the CAF African Women’s Coach of the Year.