Saturday, July 2, 2022

Tshosane in dilemma ahead of World Cup qualifiers

Zebras’ head coach, Stanley Tshosane, is facing a serious dilemma of which players will be available for the two 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers that will be played back to back in June.

This comes after some players made it clear that they will not be available for future assignments if their bonuses are not paid in time.

Sunday Standard has revealed that players have not been paid their bonuses from their games against Malawi and Ethiopia, games that were played last month. Zebras beat Malawi 1-0 in a friendly international played at UB Stadium in Gaborone on March 19 before travelling to Addis Ababa for a World Cup qualifier on March 24 which the Zebras lost 1-0.

Since coming back from East Africa, the Zebras’ players say they have been sent from pillar to post by Botswana Football Association (BFA) in regards to their bonuses.

“This thing (bonuses’ delay) has been going on for a very long time and it seems the authorities are doing nothing about it. It is disappointing because the Zebras have two major sponsors but we always struggle to get our dues. Some players have taken a stance that they will not report for future camps if the matter is not resolved. We’ve even communicated the matter to the coach,” said a senior member of the Zebras’ squad on Friday morning.

Tshosane confirmed the issue and pointed out that it is going to disturb his preparations if it is not addressed. The Zebras’ boss said that in the past he had to beg the players to show up for camp.

“Some of the players have told me to exclude them if they’re not paid their bonuses. It’s unfortunate that everytime we have big games coming up we still have to address the players’ grievances. We’ve not had a good run in these qualifiers because we did not prepare adequately,” he said.

Tshosane has called on his bosses at the BFA headquarters to try and solve the matter in time otherwise he will not have an idea which players to call for national duty.

BFA president Tebogo Sebego admitted that the players have not been paid but he said they will be paid this week. He pointed out that their plan is to pay the outstanding bonuses and those for the next camp.

“The truth of the matter is that we work with our sponsors (Orange and Banc ABC) when it comes to payment and it’s a process. Let me make it clear that that time around it was misunderstanding on my part. I’ve been under an impression that players should not be paid bonuses for friendly games, especially those which do not fall under Fifa calendar. I think it is an issue which can be debated,” Sebego said.

The BFA boss is not aware that the players have threatened to boycott future camps, adding that it will be unfortunate if it happens.

Sebego said that they are aware of the importance of the upcoming qualifiers and they will do everything possible to ensure that the coach gets what he wants. The Zebras host Ethiopia on June 8 before another home game against Central African Republic (CAR).

The Zebras lie at the bottom of Group A having accumulated a point in the three games played so far. The Zebras raised hopes of many Batswana after they held South Africa to a 1-1 draw at UB Stadium last June.

“We need to participate meaningfully though we have an outside chance of qualifying (for the next stage of the qualifiers). As a country we need to improve on our rankings hence we treat the upcoming qualifiers with utmost respect,” said Sebego.

The Zebras were supposed to play Egypt in Cairo on June 4 but the match has been called off after some of the South African-based players indicated that they will not be available to show up.
The Egyptian Football Association was going to foot the travelling costs to the North African country.

“The coach has indicated that it would not serve any purpose playing that friendly while some of the players were not available. We’re trying to source another friendly before the qualifiers to allow the coach a chance to try his combinations,” BFA boss said.


Read this week's paper