Monday, July 15, 2024

Is the BFA Technical Director meddling in national teams

During the recent COSAFA women senior national team games, Botswana Football Association (BFA) Technical Director (TD) could be seen sitting with coaches in the team’s technical bench during matches.

His being there came in the back of the TD overseeing the women’s senior national team selection, albeit with the senior national team Gaoletlhoo Nkutlwisang nowhere to be found. At the time, allegations abounded that the coach was sidelined in the squad selection.

The BFA has however since denounced the allegations as not true. The association says ‘the TD has never selected the women national team without the input of the coach.’

Now following the men’s national Under 23 team’s elimination from the Olympic qualifiers at the hands of eSwatini, fingers are once again pointing towards the BFA TD. He is accused of meddling with the team’s technical bench.

According to sources, the association TD has been actively involved in both teams. The interference, according to insiders, has even gone as far as the TD instructing the coaches as to which formation to play.

 “What we would normally expect is for the TD to watch the game from the stands. After the game, he should then give feedback to the technical team regarding his own observations from the match. This however is not the case with our TD,” a source says.

BFA Public Relations Officer (PRO) Carol Kgafela however says the association is not aware of any interference from the TD. She denies that the association has received any complaints and that there have been no discussions over the matter.

In an interesting twist, the BFA PRO does not deny that the association TD sits on the technical bench with national team coaches. At the recent COSAFA senior women’s tournament in Durban, the TD was allegedly passed off as a ‘second assistant coach’ to sit on the bench.

“There is nothing wrong with that arrangement,” Kgafela says when asked about the issue. On the role the TD plays while sitting in the bench, the BFA PRO says the TD is a coach.

He goes on to say that his purpose for sitting on the technical bench is “only for the discussion [tactical approach] with the coach if necessary.” The association however denies that the TD is imposing a certain 3-5-2 as a formation to use for the said national teams. The tendency of the TD to sit on the bench has already led to some questioning the necessity of coaches to write him technical reports as he sits on the bench with them. When the same question was posed to the association, Kgafela had this to say: “Either way, the technical reports must be provided.”

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