As preparations continue for the Zebras’ encounter with ‘the Warriors’ of Zimbabwe and ‘the Desert Foxes’ of Algeria, team coach Adel Amrouche must be a concerned man.
When the coach and his troops step out into the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium turf to play ‘the Warriors’ of Zimbabwe this coming Thursday, there will be more than just 3 points to fight for.
Beneath the fine-grained veneer exterior he presents, deep down, the Algerian gaffer knows that along with his troops, they will not be fighting just against their opponents but a multitude of forces out to get him.
Since taking over the reigns of the senior national football team, Amrouche seems to be attracting more trouble and attention than a magnet in a scrapyard can attract metal scraps.
Whether it is paranoia or real, the coach has of late been on record lamenting sabotage from those within Lekidi.
The Algerian is said to have stepped on many toes, some of which are the managers at Lekidi, coaches as well as the BFA’s chief medical officer.
As a result, Amrouche has taken absolute control of the national team and expelled or barred some of those he believes are sabotaging him from being close to the team.
The coach’s paranoia hit roof level when during the national team’s previous camp, his team was visited unannounced by members of Botswana’s National Doping Organisation (NADO).
While it is a common practice for NADO officers to visit athletes and teams unannounced, those within the camp say what angered him was that they came with targeted athletes in mind.
“It was not a random testing process where any athlete can be picked for testing,” a source says. “Rather, the NADO officers came with a written hitlist and called the names of athletes they wanted to test,” the source explains.
Those close to the coach say after the visit, he sought the ear of the BFA hierarchy but there was little they could do as the NADO was doing its job.
“He has since been asking how people who should be taking pride in whole heartedly supporting the national team to qualify for Afcon are the ones sabotaging it,” the source says.
As if this is not enough, the coach is also now seemingly a target of local administrators and coaches, who feel the money paid to him is insane.
Speaking in an interview, one administrator with close ties to Lekidi openly said he does not want the Zebras to qualify for Afcon finals.
“The money paid to Amrouche is just too much,” the administrator says. “Personally, I do not want us to qualify because if we do, the BFA may extend his contract,” he adds.
He says if the Zebras fail to qualify and the coach’s contract is not extended, it will save the association a lot of monies, which it does not have.
Elsewhere, some coaches are said to have already queried the amount paid to Amrouche, with some allegedly saying he is paid to do no work.