Township Rollers coach Mark Harrison recently acquired the most sought-after coaching certificate in Africa, the CAF A license.
However, talk is rife in the local football fraternity that the Briton did not attend the full two weeks course that was held this July in Lesotho facilitated by the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Technical Officer, Philemon Makhwengwe.
Sunday Standard investigations have unearthed that the course dates clashed with Rollers’ preparations for the championship play-off match against rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Close sources have alleged that Harrison attended the two-week course for less than five days of the expected 14-day period.
However, in an interview with Sunday Standard, Harrison downplayed the matter to jealousy and sabotage surrounding local football. He said he was aware that there was hatred towards his club in the country by some rival administrators and investors who want to drag his name and club in the mud with intentions to destabilise his side.
‘’Football in this country is in a bad state which needs to be addressed urgently. I have seen this happening in the past season and have realised that people are just against Rollers and I know the people against us but they don’t scare me and our focus will not be distressed by any negativity labelled against us,” said Harrison.
He said tension within the local football fraternity will not help elevate the game to higher heights. ‘’We need to be professional if we aim for the best in football; these petty talks won’t take us anywhere. I am a professional and believe I have spent enough time to study and pass the course,” Harrison said.
He revealed that it was only fabricated that he attended the course for two days. ‘’There was a point during preparations that I left the team with my assistant coach Teenage Mpote. That was the time I pursued the course,” said Harrison.
Makhwengwe could not be reached for comment as he referred this publication to his manager Motsamai Mabuo. “I can only confirm that I was examining the CAF A license course hosted by Lesotho Football Association but I am not in any position to divulge anything to press, but rather contact my manager,” briefly said Makhwengwe.
Mabuo said his client went to Lesotho to examine from July 25 to 31 and documents of attendance reveal that Harrison was part of the class and one of the successful graduates. “I am certain Harrison went to Lesotho; I have seen his name and one of the coaches licensed with the CAF A license. I also believe that Harrison is a professional coach and his profile proves as he has coached in the professional set-up in South Africa. I think his coaching level is at a higher level and it was just a matter of converting license to fit well with CAF demands to sit in the bench for champions league matches with credentials expected by the continent’s football governing body,” concluded Mabuo.