The Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) has once again proved to be not that much of an African affair.
Of the 16 teams that are sweating it out at the tournament being held in both Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, only seven are coached by their native coaches while the rest are under the tutelage of foreigners, mostly from Europe.
Botswana, under their tutelage of Stanley Tshosane, is one of those seven countries being coached by their citizen coaches. The other six countries that are coached by home grown coaches are Niger (Harouna Doula), Ivory Coast (Francois Zahoui), Senegal (Amara Traore), Tunisia (Sami Trabelsi), Sudan (Mohamed Abdullah Ahmed), and Angola (Jose Carlos Fernandes Vidigal).
Reasons normally vary on why certain countries still prefer foreign coaches at the expense of local ones. Sometimes the associations say they prefer foreign coaches because they are respected by the players. Sometimes other countries say local coaches are biased and only select players from their regions and disregard other areas.
But statistics have shown that countries that normally win the World Cup and even Afcon are coached by local coaches.
BMC coach, Daniel Nare, applauded the Botswana Football Association for having faith in a local coach. He said many foreign coaches have failed to help the national team qualify for Afcon before while a local coach has managed where many did not expect.
“This is all about giving local coaches a chance. If you give them more chances and support, they will definitely do well and even learn more on the way. Once a foreign coach is there he somehow hinders local progression,” he said.
Nare also added that when a local coach is at the helm of a senior national team, he learns something along the way that would in the long run benefit the country.
Nare’s main worry is that the good work of a local coach at Afcon is not a true reflection of the state of affairs in the country. He said, currently in Botswana, there are no mechanisms that govern the expertise of foreign coaches in Botswana. He said if the situation cannot be addressed with immediate effect it might backfire in the long run.
“The evidence is there for everyone to see that local coaches are more than capable to coach. As such, they should be protected at all costs. Currently, we have a situation whereby there are many foreign coaches in Botswana but there is no background check on them. You will find that some of them do not have what it takes to coach in the Premier League and they take slots that can otherwise be that of local coaches. In order for Botswana to produce more coaches of international pedigree, the BFA should do something,” he said.
On his part, Zambian born Stanley Mwaanga stressed that national teams under the guidance of local coaches tend to do well compared to when they are under foreign coaches. He said it is because they have a lot in common.
“If you have a coach who has similarities with the players, he is bound to excel and players would easily fit into his style of coaching. Once it is the case the team is bound to do well,” he said.