Saturday, October 23, 2021

GU faces uphill battle in obtaining Zapata’s permit

Gaborone United (GU) fans will have to wait a little longer before they see their new coach on the dugout. Almost three months after signing a contract with GU, coach Rodolfo Zapata has still not received his work permit, reportedly because of delays caused by changes in the application process.

“The Ministry of Labour has changed the process of application for work permits. The provision that allowed us to apply for a temporary work permit has been scrapped. We have no choice but to wait for his permanent work permit to be released,” explained GU chairman Rapula Okaile.

He also revealed that they were taken aback when they were requested to submit a letter from Botswana Football Association (BFA), stating that Zapata will be permitted to work in Botswana. The BFA further delayed the process as they took over three weeks to write the letter.

“The BFA said they were not aware that they had to write such a letter. Further, the Chief Executive Officer told us that the Association was not capacitated to deal with such issues,” said Okaile.

It took GU over three weeks of begging to get the letter from the BFA, as the CEO insisted that the Association will only be able to vet players and coaches who come to work in Botswana when club licensing is in effect.

“We however pleaded with them as the football mother body to issue the required letter, which they eventually did,” said the GU chairman.

GU also faced difficulties in obtaining some required documentation from Argentina due to time differences. The club was saved another headache by the fact that Zapata comes from a Commonwealth country and was therefore not required to apply for a Visa. They were also able to provide original copies of his qualifications as he was already in the country. GU is also facing an uphill battle in applying for a work permit for its physical trainer, who is from Bosnia/Herzegovina. The physical trainer is not from a Commonwealth country and will therefore have to apply for a Visa before he enters Botswana. Meanwhile, Okaile said the team will keep its interim coach, Stephen Maposa on the technical bench. 

“We want him to be an understudy to Zapata. He has proven that he is a capable man and we believe he will learn a lot from working with our new coach,” said Okaile.



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