Monday, October 25, 2021

BFA, ‘Pio’ Paul bury the hatchet

Promoted Sharps Shooting Stars and former national team assistant coach Keitumetse “Pio “Paul is set for a return in national team colours. 

However, Paul will this time return as the Under-23 national team mentor for a second stint after losing his job two years ago when he butted his head against the Botswana Football Association (BFA).

Paul was reportedly fired for addressing a press conference in 2015 where he publicly grieved lack of support by the BFA when majority of his key players were taken to the COSAFA Cup ahead of the U-23 African crucial match. However, the BFA this week postponed the launch of junior national team coaches where Paul is alleged to be among those expected to be unveiled for the coaching positions at the ceremony.

Sources have revealed that the court case between Paul and the BFA is likely to be settled out of court. 

“The matter that Paul took the courts with concern to unfair dismissal that haunted the BFA and Paul will soon be water under the bridge as talks on the matter are at an advanced stage. Both parties have found a solution best for football and with the experience and qualification Paul has it is befitting for him to impart knowledge that could assist in the growth of football,” a source disclosed to Sunday Standard.

Meanwhile, as it has been the norm that senior national team assistant coach automatically manages the U-23 team, it has turned out that Oris Radipotsane will only concentrate on the senior team as the assistant coach with Paul managing the junior side. 

“’The difference now is that senior team coach Peter Butler wants to work with Radipotsane as his assistant and the BFA wants lure Paul back hence leaving out Radipotsane out of the junior team,” a source said.

Paul declined commenting on the matter saying it was all rumours until official confirmation by the relevant authorities. “I have never heard anything official from the BFA and nothing is formal so I cannot say anything much on the matter,” Paul told Sunday Standard. 

BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane also shied away from commenting on the matter saying the launch of junior national team coaches has been postponed and was reluctant to disclose names of those roped in for national duty.

‘’I cannot disclose anything at the moment as I am not privy to information yet and believe in  a short time the launch will reveal who has been brought on board to take charge of the junior national teams,” Mpatane said.

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