Botswana Football Association (BFA) was forced to improvise as the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) put a limit on the number of team officials going to the U17 Youth Championship in Mauritius.
When the BFA handed out its team registration form for the Mauritius bound team, it indicated that only five officials will be accompanying the Young Zebras to the tournament.
Team officials listed were Head of delegation Phillimon Bunu, Head coach Itumeleng Duiker, Assistant coach Tebogo Mokute, Manager Tebogo Kamati and Medical officer Ngaka Kealotswe.
The list means the Young Zebras will have to do without the services of its kit manager, goalkeeper trainer and a physical trainer.
Commenting on the matter, BFA Public Relations Officer Tumo Mpatane noted that it was not their wish for the boys to travel without the other three officials. He said it was COSAFA who ordered that only five officials, including head of delegation, could accompany the team.
“COSAFA gave us these regulations, we just had to play by the rules and comply with instructions as we were given,’ Mpatane said.
To compensate for the void left by not taking the officials, Mpatane said when selecting who goes, they did it in such a way that they fill the void of the three missing officials.
“Because of the instructions given, we decided that some of the officials will carry out double duties. The medical officer will also step in as a physical trainer, the team manager will also can act as the kit manager while the assistant coach will carry out the duties of the goalkeeper coach,” he explained.
Furthermore he highlighted that given the limitation of team officials put in place and catered for by COSAFA, it is likely that ‘there might be shortage of finances or maybe there is limited accommodation.’
He however said despite the handicap of travelling without some team officials, the team will have enough support and will be looking to impress at when the tournament gets underway.
The COSAFA Under 17 Championships are set to take place from the 19th to the 29th of this month.