Friday, December 1, 2023

BFA shoots itself on the foot again

It is now becoming common practice for the error-prone Botswana Football Association (BFA) to shoot itself on the foot and expect to play ball as if all is ok.

This past week, the BFA was at it again as the entire men senior national team threatened to walk away following a communication gaffe from the association.

It all started on Thursday morning when rumours started circulating in the local social media pages that senior national team coach Adel Amrouche would be ‘commanded to travel with young players to the upcoming COSAFA cup tournament.’

The rumour mill had it that the BFA intended to force the gaffer to dismantle his senior team which was already in camp and replace aging players with youngsters.

As one would expect of the association, the communication, which was allegedly coming from the ‘BFA boss’ was not communicated to the players, who, like everyone else, heard it from social media.

According to sources, unbeknown to the BFA, the news was not well received by the senior players and they seemingly made a pact to ‘all pack and go if some were to be sent home.’

Things came to a head late on Thursday when the coach allegedly sought to send some players home as he deemed them not to be fit enough to be with the team.

“Unfortunately for the coach, the players he sought to send home were aging players. This triggered players to believe that the rumours that had been circulating on social media were true,” a source explained.

In an unprecedented move, following the coach’s decision, all players on camp then made it known that they will be leaving camp in solidarity with those being sent home.

“The coach and his technical team then had a long meeting with players which went well into the late evenings. In the end, it was the coach’s intervention which made players to change their minds,” the source said.

Among other things, the coach is said to have appealed to the players to work with him as this would be their last chance to achieve something worthwhile with them.

Speaking to the matter, an insider at Lekidi said the whole saga was just a misunderstanding due to a communication gaffe, which no one within the association wants to take responsibility for.

“As far as we know, there was never any intention to dismantle the entire team and replace senior players with junior players,” said the insider.

“All we know is that the coach wanted to send some players home as their fitness was not at par with that of others. However, a misunderstanding due to a communication gaffe allegedly by the ‘BFA boss’ turned things awry for the team,” the insider explained.

Reached for comment, BFA Public Relations Officer (PRO) Tumo Mpatane said all communication on the matter is handled by the association chief executive officer (CEO) Goabaone Taylor.

“She is the one who is very familiar with the issue as she has been addressing it and she is better placed to give clarity,” Mpatane said.

Attempts by this publication to reach the CEO however proved futile as she was allegedly out of office on work related matters and her mobile phone was off air.


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